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DT-5 Development of a Microsphere based multiplex serology for differential diagnosis in reactive arthritis and lyme arthritis.

Bacterial infections can cause apart from their typical acute, febrile symptoms chronic diseases affecting most often joints (arthritis), skin and the nervous system. The food-borne bacterial diarrheas due to Campylobacter or Yersinia (>50.000 reported cases / year in Germany; dark figure up to 10fold higher) results in up to 5% in sequelae. There are an estimated 60.000 to 100.000 new cases of the tick-transmitted disease Lyme- borreliosis per year and several thousand of chronic cases - especially arthritis - can be assumed. Such unspecific symptoms open a wide field for differential diagnostic purposes and therefore there is a high demand for powerful and easy to standardize tests. Since the whole genome sequences of these species are published recently, we now have the unique opportunity to identify new, diagnostically relevant antigens, to fabricate them genetically, and, thus, make them useable for serology. Crucial advantages of these so called recombinant antigens are the qualitatively and quantitatively flexible combination, a reliable standardization, and an easy evaluation. On the other hand further developments in the field of detection methods resulted in the Luminex system which can detect up to one hundred different substances in parallel. This innovative system that might connect so far separated investigations shall be applied in our project. In the scope of a close collaboration between the Max von Pettenkofer Institute with the company Mikrogen a detection system for Campylobacter, Yersinia and Borrelia shall be developed until readiness of marketing. This innovative diagnostic method will not only result in better and earlier therapy but also in saving costs for the health care system.


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