Immune signatures in blood point to distinct disease stages, open door to better diagnosis and treatment
NEW YORK (Feb. 27, 2015)—Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health identified distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease. The findings could help improve diagnosis and identify treatment options for the disabling disorder, in which symptoms range from extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating to headaches and muscle pain.
These immune signatures represent the first robust physical evidence that ME/CFS is a biological illness as opposed to a psychological disorder, and the first evidence that the disease has distinct stages. Results appear online in the new American Association for the Advancement of Science journal, Science Advances.
With funding to support studies of immune and infectious mechanisms of disease from the Chronic Fatigue Initiative of the Hutchins Family Foundation, the researchers used immunoassay testing methods to determine the levels of 51 immune biomarkers in blood plasma samples collected through two multicenter studies that represented a total of 298 ME/CFS patients and 348 healthy controls. They found specific patterns in ...
Vaccines which actually provide protection against a target infection are slow to perfect, Jenner and the Cowpox/Smallpox model not-withstanding.
Rheumatic Fever, is no longer a significant public health problem in the developed world. Rheumatic Fever and allied post streptococcal illnesses continue to be major problems in the undeveloped countries, particularly African countries.
The historical discussion of attempts for a Vaccine to prevent Rheumatic Fever is pertinent to the hopes for the development of a Vaccine for Lyme borreliosis: Herein a synopsis of the frustrations with a Rheumatic Fever vaccine quoted from the Lancet:
Enlarged nymph-stage blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say. The tick is actually about the size of a poppy seed. Photo by Scott Bauer, USDA
Worried that tick bite means Lyme disease? Mason researchers can find the answer well before the bite victim begins to show symptoms.
“If you are bit by a tick, you can’t be sure if you will get Lyme disease ― that is the biggest problem right now,” says Alessandra Luchini, research assistant professor for Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM), who was named one of Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10” last year.
Luchini and other Mason researchers are evaluating a new type of diagnostic test they developed for humans and their canine pals to pinpoint tiny signs of the bacteria that lead to Lyme disease. A study of the new type of test is underway. (Call 800-615-0418 ext. 202 for more information about participating.) The test soon could be available commercially through privately held Ceres Nanosciences Inc., which partnered with Mason to develop the test and plans to market it to doctor’s offices and veterinarian clinics.
The Lyme disease test is just in time for what promises to be a bumper crop of ticks this spring and summer.
The culprit is the blacklegged tick. It can carry the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which leads to Lyme disease. To make matters worse, nymphs ― about the size of the period at the end of this sentence ― can bite unnoticed until the standard first sign of Lyme disease, a bull’s-eye rash, appears.
A dose of antibiotics usually kills the bacteria, but sometimes symptoms persist. Patients return to their doctor months and even years later, convinced they still have Lyme disease, says Lance Liotta, CAPMM co-director. Until now, there was no way of knowing definitively if the disease was still active or not, he says.
Ticks in amber indicate Lyme disease is older than humans
Lexington, KY USA
By Mac McDonald
LymeBlog News Editor
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Lyme disease is a stealthy, often misdiagnosed disease that was only recognized about 40 years ago, but new discoveries of ticks fossilized in amber show that the bacteria which cause it may have been lurking around for 15 million years – long before any humans walked on Earth.
The findings were made by researchers from Oregon State University, who studied 15-20 million-year-old amber from the Dominican Republic that offer the oldest fossil evidence ever found of Borrelia, a type of spirochete-like bacteria that to this day causes Lyme disease. They were published in the journalHistorical Biology.
In a few months, as summer arrives, millions of people will head for the outdoors. It is worth considering that these tick-borne diseases may be far more common than has been historically appreciated, and they have been around for a long, long time.
“Ticks and the bacteria they carry are very opportunistic,” said George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology of the OSU College of Science, and one of the world’s leading experts on plant and animal life forms found preserved in amber. “They are very efficient at maintaining populations of microbes in their tissues, and can infect mammals, birds, reptiles and other animals.
“In the United States, Europe and Asia, ticks are a more important insect vector of disease than mosquitos,” Poinar said. “They can carry bacteria that cause a wide range of diseases, affect many different animal species, and often are not even understood or recognized by doctors.
“It’s likely that many ailments in human history for which doctors had no explanation have been caused by tick-borne disease.”
Lyme disease is a perfect example. It can cause problems with joints, the heart and central nervous system, but researchers didn't even know it existed until 1975. If recognized early and treated with ...
David Cameron Vows to Make UK the World Dementia Research Leader
Lexington, KY USA
By Mac McDonald, LymeBlog News Staff
David Cameron sets out a new, long-term strategy focused on boosting research, improving care and raising public awareness about dementia.
Britain will expand its efforts to combat dementia over the next 5 years, the Prime Minister David Cameron said today as he set out a new, long-term strategy focused on boosting research, improving care and raising public awareness about the condition.
Britain has emerged as the world leader in fighting dementia since 2010 with investment in research doubled, hundreds of thousands of NHS staff given specialist training and 1 million ‘Dementia Friends’ taking part in awareness sessions across the country.
The UK government will invest over £300 million into UK research and medical innovation, backing the country’s world-leading science and medical sectors to lead the way in discovering the next big breakthrough. Annual investment in UK research is expected to double by ...
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