When it comes to Lyme disease early diagnosis and early treatment can be the difference between being healthy and being stricken with a debilitating chronic disease. New research published in the Journal of Science Translational Medicine discusses a study done at Colorado State University investigating a more accurate test for diagnosing Lyme disease. The study looked at blood samples from Lyme positive patients and compared them with Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) positive blood samples to try to identify unique markers for more accurate and earlier diagnosing ability.

“We were able to tell the difference between early Lyme disease and Southern tick-associated rash illness by using biomarkers that show us how the body reacts to these illnesses,” Stated CSU professor John Belisle, the researchers were able to identify these biomarkers and use them to build a better test for Identifying the infection. The current tests used, the ELISA and the western blot, have been proven to be fairly inaccurate and cannot identify Lyme disease in the first four to six weeks. Professor Belisle comments on how this test could aid in the future treatment of Lyme,

“This could be important in helping to more accurately detect early Lyme disease, which is crucial because the longer people wait for Lyme disease treatment, the higher the potential risk for having more severe symptoms.”

This study offers a brighter future for the fight against Lyme disease. Lyme disease is currently listed as the highest reported vector–borne disease in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control, with around 300,000 yearly cases, and that number seems to be on the rise. We will keep you updated with any new information on this study.