There is an urgent need for research into the complex problem of chronic Lyme disease. Physicians need new tools to identify and treat patients who have persistent symptoms even after antibiotic therapy.
Better diagnostic tests and treatments can only be developed through research and expanded knowledge.
Currently, doctors lack the clinical tools to deal with the epidemic of Lyme disease and are searching for answers to help their patients.
Diagnostic tests cannot yet accurately identify the earliest stage of Lyme disease when making the diagnosis is crucial. Because of this as well as the inconsistent ability to identify the hallmark rash, early Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose in a community practice setting.
No objective test to confirm cure and eradication of infection is available.
Treatment options for patients with persistent symptoms after standard therapy have not been successfully tested or approved by the FDA.
The lack of research into the cause of persistent symptoms has severely limited the ability of physicians to treat and restore health to Lyme sufferers.
There is an urgent need for research leading to clinical tools that can improve the care of patients with Lyme disease.
CRISPR TECHNOLOGY: A NEW APPROACH TO ERADICATING BORRELIA
CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, is most widely known as a revolutionary tool for editing DNA sequences’, ‘is part of a defensive immune system that recognizes invasive foreign DNA. When the CRISPR RNAs find a matching sequence, they instruct the Cas proteins to cut the sequence of invading DNA from the cell’ - ‘to be used as a targeted antimicrobial — essentially a “smart bomb” for bacteria’
CRISPR and the Community Are Teaming Up to Combat Lyme Disease
Dr. Kevin Esvelt and his team at MIT have come up with an innovative solution: heritably immunize the mice against Lyme disease. Esvelt’s plan involves injecting captive white-footed mice with the Lyme vaccine to induce antibody production. The team would then isolate the antibody-coding DNA and insert it into non-resistant mice using CRISPR. The altered mice would be released on the islands and allowed to breed with the wild populations, spreading resistance to Lyme disease in the process.
In another ambitious project, Dr. Esvelt’s team aims to target a protein found in tick saliva that effectively “hides” it from the mouse’s immune system. Immunization against this protein would potentially protect mice against all tick-borne diseases