Lyme disease study from Pharmasan Labs selected as 2013 feature paper

Cells, a peer-reviewed, international, open access journal, has selected Pharmasan Labs’ research study entitled “An Enhanced ELISPOT Assay for Sensitive Detection of Antigen-Specific T-Cell Responses to Borrelia burgdorferi” as a Feature Paper of 2013.  Feature Papers are selected for their significant contributions to the science of cell biology, molecular biology and biophysics. The study is available at http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/2/3/607/.

Lead-authored by Chenggang Jin, MD, PhD, Head of Immunology at Pharmasan Labs, the study tested and validated a novel T cell-based assay for the detection of antigen-specific T cell response to Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Through a clinical study of Lyme-positive patients, Dr. Jin’s team demonstrated that the new assay, called iSpot Lyme™, provides significantly higher specificity and sensitivity levels, compared with the Western Blot assay that is currently used as a diagnostic measure.

The publication comes on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement last month that Lyme disease is a full ten times more prevalent than previously thought. CDC estimates now place the number of infected patients at 300,000 people each year.

“We are honored to have our research selected for Cells’ Featured Papers of 2013,” said Pharmasan Labs’ Dr. Jin. “More importantly, we’re hopeful that our evaluation of both antibody response and T cell response to Borrelia infection will provide new insights into the pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of Lyme disease, which is a potentially serious and increasingly common infection.”

Co-authored by Diana R. Roen of Pharmasan Labs, Dr. Gottfried H. Kellermann of NeuroScience, Inc. and Paul V. Lehmann of Cellular Technology Limited, the study received the Best Abstract Award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in July, and was presented at the 13th International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases (ICLB) in August.

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