Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yale And State Researchers Develop Improved Test For New Tick Disease

Date:
October 26, 1999
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Yale and state scientists have developed a new, simpler and more reliable blood test to detect a recently discovered disease called ehrlichiosis, which is carried by deer ticks. The test will make it less cumbersome for patients with the telltale flu-like symptoms to be screened for the disease. It also will allow researchers to determine whether ehrlichiosis may be as widespread as Lyme Disease in the Northeast.

New Haven, Conn. -- Yale and state scientists have developed a new, simpler and more reliable blood test to detect a recently discovered disease called ehrlichiosis, which is carried by deer ticks.

The test will make it less cumbersome for patients with the telltale flu-like symptoms to be screened for the disease. It also will allow researchers to determine whether ehrlichiosis may be as widespread as Lyme Disease in the Northeast.

The new ELISA test was developed by Dr. Jacob IJdo and Dr. Erol Fikrig in the Rheumatology section of Yale Medical School's Department of Internal Medicine in collaboration with Dr. Louis Magnarelli at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Details of the test were published in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

The organism, Ehrlichia equi, is carried by the same tiny deer tick that carries the Lyme Disease bacteria and, like Lyme Disease, causes flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever and muscle cramps. But unlike Lyme disease, Ehrlichia equi does not produce a bull's eye rash, which makes it more difficult to diagnose, said Dr. IJdo, a physician-scientist.

Another problem hampering diagnosis is that testing for ehrlichiosis is time-consuming, costly, and is only performed in specialized research laboratories. "With the old test a person could test two dozen blood samples a day," Dr. IJdo said. "With the new test it is easy to scale up the testing for large numbers of blood samples."

There are indications that ehrlichiosis infections could be more prevalent because the numbers of confirmed cases are increasing each year, Dr. IJdo said.

"The state of Connecticut started doing surveillance for ehrlichiosis in 1995, and each year the number of cases has doubled," he said. "Last year there were more than 200 cases in Connecticut."

Because the same tick is responsible for transmission of both organisms, ehrlichiosis can be expected in the same areas where there is Lyme disease, which are principally the Northeast and the upper Midwest.

The new ELISA test uses a recombinant protein that can be produced in large quantities. The test is better because it is standardized, automated and more sensitive, said Dr. IJdo.

"Now we can conduct better surveillance of the disease," he said. "It took several years to educate people about Lyme Disease, and it may take some time to inform people about Ehrlichia equi. With the ELISA we are set up for next summer's tick season."

Testing for ehrlichiosis is conducted by the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Yale's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health with financial support by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The test is free for any physician who suspects a patient of having ehrlichiosis. "This is to encourage physicians to submit blood samples so that we can get a better idea how prevalent the disease is," Dr. IJdo said. It is not yet known if ehrlichiosis can have the same serious long term effects as Lyme Disease if untreated, Dr. IJdo said. Untreated Lyme Disease, which is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, can result in chronic arthritis and nerve and heart dysfunction.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Yale And State Researchers Develop Improved Test For New Tick Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991026072929.htm>.
Yale University. (1999, October 26). Yale And State Researchers Develop Improved Test For New Tick Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991026072929.htm
Yale University. "Yale And State Researchers Develop Improved Test For New Tick Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991026072929.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins