Gregory Family Theater, Hylton Performing Arts Center
Dr. Alessandra Luchini presents “Nanotechnology: A New Approach to Conquering Lyme Disease.” Hear about the latest findings surrounding hot topics in science and medicine that affect our everyday lives and the decisions that we make! Bring your family and friends for a free, casual, interactive science discussion. Learn from the experts and speak with them personally.
“Nanotechnology: A New Approach to Conquering Lyme Disease” by Dr. Alessandra Luchini
Lyme disease, transmitted by a tick bite, is an accelerating epidemic in Virginia. Unfortunately the fight against Lyme disease is severely hindered by the poor quality of existing diagnostic tests for Lyme. More than 3,000 conventional Lyme serology tests are performed per day in the USA. Fifty percent of patients who test negative may actually have the disease and are not treated if the physician follows standard guidelines. Patients with a missed diagnosis harbor Lyme bacteria, which can invade the brain, heart, joints, and other tissues causing tremendous suffering. Our laboratory developed a highly specific and sensitive urine test for Lyme disease that can be used for diagnosis and determining whether a prescribed therapy has eliminated the infection. We created a special nanotechnology called the Nanotrap®, which is licensed to Ceres Nanosciences. The Nanotrap® technology enables us to achieve 1,000 times higher sensitivity than previous testing methods. We are testing for regions of the Lyme surface proteins that are absolutely specific for the Lyme bacteria and detect all species and strains. Our Lyme disease test is currently being used in a nationwide clinical study. We are also developing a tick panel test for other tick borne bacteria and viruses that infect patients.
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