Assay to detect early neurologic Lyme disease

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Neurologic involvment is one of the most
serious and common complications of Lyme disease (LD). Yet there is no reliable
test available to detect this at an early stage. LD cases due to Borrelia
burgdorferi (Bb) are increasing. Serious consequences can occur when Bb invades
the central nervous system(CNS). Early detection of invasion would permit
CNS-penetrating antibiotics to reduce sequelae. Our objective is to develop an
assay to detect active CNS infection. Preliminary data suggests that Bb immune
complexes (IC) analysis in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a potential test.
Specific Aim : To determine whether early neurologic LD patients have CSF IC
which contain anti-Bb antibodies (Abs) and Bb antigens (Ags).
Hypothesis: Early neurologic LD patients form IC in CSF.
Rationale: In many infections IC Ab is found bound to its Ag target earlier
than free Ab. In contrast to free Ab, specific IC Ab or Ag reflects active
Samples are already banked from neurologic LD patients with both erythema
migrans AND microbiological confirmation. We will study blinded CSF specimens
and compare CSF BbIC to free Bb Ab assays, PCR, and cultures (data already
available). BbIC will be isolated by a proven simple technique, polyethylene
glycol. BbIC Ab and Ag will be identified. Focus will be towards on specific
and in vivo expressed Bb Ags. Results will be statistically analyzed. Phase 2
will be designed for broadscale usage and refinement.
Effective start/end date9/30/039/29/06


  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: $158,940.00


  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology


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