Current methods don’t reveal all the tick-born diseases

6/28/2016
University of Jyväskylä’s research group has the answer.

None of us would want to find a small black creature hanging on a leg after a nice day out. Unfortunately it happens more and more - and the chance of getting a tick-born infection is on the rise.

According to Leona Gilbert, Associate Professor at the University of Jyväskylä, the current diagnostics detecting tick-born illnesses are inadequate. For a patient's point of view, insufficient tools can lead to numerous visits to the doctor before a right diagnosis has been found.

"The diagnostic kits in use only test for one bacteria, while there are at least twenty different types of bacteria and viruses spread by ticks," Leona Gilbert explains.

Gilberts research group has studied especially the borrelia bacteria and the long term consequences it might cause to health. One of the outcomes of their work is a new diagnostic tool that they hope to makes patients life easier in the future.Tekes has helped the group to evaluate different commercialisation paths and markets for the innovation.

"This is one of those projects that are going to have a great society impact, and I think that we scientists have to think more: yes we can do basic science and research, but also what is the impact of that science."

WATCH VIDEO: Leona Gilbert explains, what is wrong with current diagnostic tools for tick-born diseases and how her group is going to solve the problem.

Eeva Landowski