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.
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.
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.
Dr. Ruth Brignall completed a PhD in immunology and a post-doc in cancer biology. She joined Oxford Immunotec, first as a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) and more recently as a Global Medical Expert. Below, we will learn more about her experiences and insights in tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics.