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Yale Researchers Make Lyme Disease Diagnostic Discovery

James Gathany
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Yale researchers have discovered a protein that could help protect against Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by ticks infected with a type of bacteria — and it’s becoming more common, as climate change makes it easier for ticks to live through warmer winters.

Dr. Gunjan Arora at Yale said that’s why it’s important to know that this protein helps the human immune system protect itself against Lyme. He said it could help catch infections early and make new treatments possible.

“We could use this both as a diagnostic molecule to detect early Lyme disease, as well as for therapeutic strategies in the future,” Arora said.

Arora said his team plans to investigate if this protein can help us understand why some people have more serious long-lasting Lyme disease and why others are able to clear the infection more easily.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.