Pathogen Testing

We offer broadly sensitive and highly specific PCR tests to confirm the presence of microbial DNA in patient samples to help clinicians deliver the most accurate diagnosis of vector-borne infections in their patients.

Why we do this?

An increasing number of medical studies implicate zoonotic and vector-borne pathogens in these hard-to-diagnose chronic syndromes.  We spend about half of our time on clinical research studies design to clarify the role of vector-borne disease in human and animal health and the other half of our time delivering the most sensitive and specific test results possible for doctors and their patients.

How do we do this?

First, we start with the pathogen in mind. Our PCR tests are designed with genus-level primers and verified by sequencing to provide the most sensitive and specific microbial DNA test result possible.  This test design provides flexibility with the highest specificity possible for clinical consideration.  For example, over 10 species of Bartonella spp. have been implicated in human illness, yet standard PCR assays target one species at a time and are only available for two of the most common species of infection.  Other blood-borne pathogens, like Rickettsia spp, also benefit from a broad PCR testing strategy, as multiple species are associated with human illness.

Our Bartonella ePCR™ test is designed to overcome the limitations of traditional test methods for Bartonella spp. by combining a 1-week BAPGM enrichment culture with our genus-level PCR method to increase the sensitivity of Bartonella spp detection in patient samples.  The ideal way to confirm a stealth infection, like Bartonella is by confirming the presence of DNA in the patient sample.  Unfortunately,  Bartonella spp are highly fastidious organisms, meaning that they are very difficult to grow using conventional plate culture methods.  Importantly, Bartonella spp infect at very low levels, cycling in an out of the blood, leading to limited detection by PCR.  IFA serology is also limited because Bartonella are immune evasive, resulting in the absence of detectable antibodies in patient samples, and because IFA serology test can only be performed on one species at a time.