Dr. Artem Rogovskyy, an assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS), is a recipient of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s 2020 Emerging Leader Award for his interdisciplinary work in developing a rapid, highly sensitive, portable, cost-effective, and single sample-based Lyme disease (LD) diagnostic assay.
LD is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The most common vector-borne disease in the United States, it affects roughly 329,000 Americans annually. Mild cases produce a “bull’s-eye” rash, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes, while more advanced cases can cause more serious symptoms, such as severe joint pain and neurological problems.
Management of LD is heavily reliant on timely diagnosis and treatment, which means accurate and accessible testing is instrumental to preventing persistent, treatment-resistant infections.
In the U.S., the only validated approach for LD diagnosis is a two-tiered serology. These tests have drawbacks, including that the sensitivity and specificity of these tests vary greatly, dependent of the stage of infection.