Tokarz R, et al. (2018) “A multiplex serologic platform for diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.” Scientific Reports. 8: 3158. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21349-2
Tick-borne diseases are the most common vector-borne diseases in the United States, with serology being the primary method of diagnosis. We developed the first multiplex, array-based assay for serodiagnosis of tick-borne diseases called the TBD-Serochip. The TBD-Serochip was designed to discriminate antibody responses to 8 major tick-borne pathogens present in the United States, including Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Rickettsia rickettsii, Heartland virus and Powassan virus. Each assay contains approximately 170,000 12-mer linear peptides that tile along the protein sequence of the major antigens from each agent with 11 amino acid overlap. This permits accurate identification of a wide range of specific immunodominant IgG and IgM epitopes that can then be used to enhance diagnostic accuracy and integrate differential diagnosis into a single assay. To test the performance of the TBD-Serochip, we examined sera from patients with confirmed Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus disease. We identified a wide range of specific discriminatory epitopes that facilitated accurate diagnosis of each disease. We also identified previously undiagnosed infections. Our results indicate that the TBD-Serochip is a promising tool for a differential diagnosis not available with currently employed serologic assays for TBDs.