Discovery could lead to Lyme disease treatment


BLACKSBURG, Va. (WSLS) – A Virginia Tech researcher has made a discovery that could open the door to Lyme disease treatment. 

Brandon Jutras is an assistant professor of biochemistry in the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He’s reportedly discovered the cellular component that contributes to Lyme arthritis, a symptom that turns up in the late stages of the disease. 

“This discovery will help researchers improve diagnostic tests and may lead to new treatment options for patients suffering with Lyme arthritis,” said Jutras in a press release from the university. “This is an important finding, and we think that it has major implications for many manifestations of Lyme disease, not just Lyme arthritis.” 

University officials say that this research has the potential to provide a new way to diagnose Lyme disease and Lyme arthritis for patients who experience vague symptoms, based on the cellular component Jutras and his team discovered. 

Around 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

Jutras and his team spent four years writing a paper on the discovery. The paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

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