As summer approaches, cases of Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) are on the rise. Lyme disease (LD) is the most common TBD and is generally cured with antibiotic treatment. Testing relies on detecting a patient’s immune response to infection. However, diagnosis of LD can be challenging. Optimal diagnostic accuracy of LD can be achieved by combining two separate antibody tests with consideration of a patient’s symptoms and tick exposure.
Bartonellosis is an infectious disease caused by Bartonella species and is implicated in causing many emerging and re-emerging infections globally. While there are multiple species, the three most common Bartonella species (and the infections they cause) are: Bartonella henselae (Cat Scratch Disease), Bartonella quintana (Trench fever), and Bartonella bacilliformis (Oroya fever).
Dengue fever has no specific treatment, but supportive care can help manage the symptoms. Only one vaccine, Dengvaxia® from Sanofi, has been approved by the FDA to prevent severe disease. It is approved for children aged 9 to 16 who live in an endemic area and have previously been infected with DENV as confirmed by a laboratory serological assay.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is caused when the immune system sends antibodies to attack your joints, leading to joint destruction and disability. While there is no current cure for RA, treatment is possible. Treatment of RA is best done within 3 to 6 months after symptoms start, since permanent joint damage can occur within the first 2 years. This blog will discuss the common antibodies which are tested for in RA diagnosis, and highlight additional uses of antibody testing in RA.
The number of Powassan virus (POWV) reported cases is low compared to other tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. However, the prevalence of POWV infection is likely underestimated because testing capabilities are limited. There are no FDA-cleared assays and only a few commercially available assays. There is a need to increase the awareness of POWV infection to include this testing in clinical routine labs.
Autoimmune liver diseases (ALD) occur when the immune system turns against liver cells, leading to inflammation. Types of ALD include autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The detection of specific disease-associated antibodies allows for a differential diagnosis of the culprit ALD, and helps to ensure proper patient treatment. Here we discuss the specific autoantibodies associated with either AIH, PBC, or PSC, as well as the techniques available for their detection.
Less than a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the authorization of several novel COVID-19 vaccines has created hope for a healthier future. Recent studies have demonstrated that both humoral and cellular immunity play a role in protection from COVID-19. Additionally, the development of novel COVID-19 vaccines requires a look at the immune response in order to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine at preventing infection.
SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses an unprecedented public health crisis. While scientists and clinicians worldwide are still working to understand the virus, recent studies show possible onset of autoimmune diseases following COVID-19 infection.