Researchers honored for Lyme disease biomarker breakthrough

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation has recognized Nira Pollock, MD, PhD, and John Branda, MD, for their research on a potential biomarker for Lyme disease with a grant to support future development of a novel diagnostic urine test, according to a press release.

Pollock and Branda, both of Harvard Medical School, recently identified a Borrelia burgdorferi biomarker in the urine of Lyme patients, according to the release. Their method used techniques previously developed to identify biomarkers for tuberculosis and leishmaniasis, and may provide an advantage over currently used Lyme diagnostics.

“Without an accurate and reliable diagnostic, patients suffer with unexplained symptoms and miss the opportunity for early treatment,” Bonnie Crater, co-founder and vice president of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, said in the release. “We are hopeful that the approach of Drs. Pollock and Branda, which taps learning from other diseases, will lead to a more direct way to detect the bacteria that causes Lyme disease than the current methods.”

The nonprofit organization’s 2015 Emerging Leader Award comes with a $100,000 grant, which will fund further research adapting this finding into a novel urine test to detect the infection.

“Our hope is that findings from this round of research will bring us closer to developing an accurate diagnostic test,” Branda said in the release.

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation has recognized Nira Pollock, MD, PhD, and John Branda, MD, for their research on a potential biomarker for Lyme disease with a grant to support future development of a novel diagnostic urine test, according to a press release.

Pollock and Branda, both of Harvard Medical School, recently identified a Borrelia burgdorferi biomarker in the urine of Lyme patients, according to the release. Their method used techniques previously developed to identify biomarkers for tuberculosis and leishmaniasis, and may provide an advantage over currently used Lyme diagnostics.

“Without an accurate and reliable diagnostic, patients suffer with unexplained symptoms and miss the opportunity for early treatment,” Bonnie Crater, co-founder and vice president of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, said in the release. “We are hopeful that the approach of Drs. Pollock and Branda, which taps learning from other diseases, will lead to a more direct way to detect the bacteria that causes Lyme disease than the current methods.”

The nonprofit organization’s 2015 Emerging Leader Award comes with a $100,000 grant, which will fund further research adapting this finding into a novel urine test to detect the infection.

“Our hope is that findings from this round of research will bring us closer to developing an accurate diagnostic test,” Branda said in the release.