Assessing the Need for Multiplex and Multifunctional Tick-Borne Disease Test in Routine Clinical Laboratory Samples from Lyme Disease and Febrile Patients with a History of a Tick Bite

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Human polymicrobial infections in tick-borne disease (TBD) patients is an emerging public health theme. However, the requirement for holistic TBD tests in routine clinical laboratories is ambiguous. TICKPLEX® PLUS is a holistic TBD test utilized herein to assess the need for multiplex and multifunctional diagnostic tools in a routine clinical laboratory. The study involved 150 specimens categorized into Lyme disease (LD)-positive (n = 48), LD-negative (n = 30), and febrile patients from whom borrelia serology was requested (n = 72, later “febrile patients”) based on reference test results from United Medix, Finland. Reference tests from DiaSorin, Immunetics, and Mikrogen Diagnostik followed the two-tier LD testing system.

  • A comparison between the reference tests and TICKPLEX® PLUS produced 86%, 88%, and 87% positive, negative, and overall agreement, respectively.
  • Additionally, up to 15% of LD and 11% of febrile patients responded to TBD related coinfections and opportunistic microbes.

The results demonstrated that one (TICKPLEX® PLUS) test can aid in a LD diagnosis instead of four tests. Moreover, TBD is not limited to just LD, as the specimens produced immune responses to several TBD microbes. Lastly, the study indicated that the screening of febrile patients for TBDs could be a missed opportunity at reducing unreported patient cases.

Conflict of interest statement

K.G and L.G. have a financial and business interest in Tezted Ltd. Further, S.J and S.F do not have commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as potential conflicts of interest. The funding source mentioned in the Funding and Acknowledgements section and Tezted Ltd. had no role in the experimental design, reporting of the results, or the decision to publish.

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