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IDEXX launches quantitative reference laboratory test for Lyme disease
A new canine test for Lyme disease allows veterinarians to not only identify infection, but also decide on a therapeutic plan and monitor their treatment choice.
A new canine test for Lyme disease allows veterinarians to not only identify infection, but also decide on a therapeutic plan and monitor their treatment choice.Lyme C6 Quantitative Antibody Test is a reference laboratory test that, when used as a follow-up test to the in-house rapid assay screening test, provides veterinarians with the latest diagnostic information for effectively managing Lyme disease.With the discovery of the C6 antigen and the dogs unique antibody response to it, IDEXX developed the Snap 3Dx as a screening tool. And the company just announced the availability of this new test, which provides veterinarians with a two-tiered approach to Lyme disease testing.Veterinarians can screen all dogs for Lyme accurately and economically with the in-house Snap 3Dx and then follow up positive results with the Lyme C6 Quantitative Antibody Test to accurately measure a dogs antibody level to C6, reports Dr. Terri Wheeler of IDEXX Laboratory Services. The antibody level will help determine the relative spirochetal burden, weigh treatment options and measure the effectiveness of a treatment approach.In addition to the tests high sensitivity and specificity, initial studies show that C6 antibody levels also correlate with a dogs spirochetal load, Wheeler explains.In one study, dogs exposed to B. burgdorferi had a dramatic increase in tissue spirochetes when measured with a quantitative PCR. These same dogs, when treated with antibiotics, have a dramatic decrease in tissue spirochetes (Straubinger RK. J Clin Microbiol. 200; 38 (6): 2191-2199). C6 antibody levels correlate to these spirochetal loads, rising dramatically after B. burgdorferi exposure, and then dropping off rapidly after treatment with antibiotics. (Phillip MT, et al. J Infectious Dis. 2001; 184(7): 870-878.)IDEXX adds that as a result of these many attributes, the C6 antibody performs more like an antigen test than an antibody test.Recent research indicates that subclinical infections are more common than previously thought and may actually outnumber clinical infections. Cornell University research also demonstrated that 70 percent of 16 dogs infected with Lyme disease had a three-to-six-day episode of varying degrees of lameness, with the first episode occurring at a median of 71 days post-infection, Wheeler explains.With introduction of the test, IDEXX is recommending screening dogs and further characterizing positive dogs by quantifying antibody levels.
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