Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year as many as 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Lyme disease. NDRI is partnering with the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and its National Lyme Disease BioBank to build a system for collecting and banking a diverse group of biospecimens for use by the Lyme disease research community.
Drawing on our expertise in developing research-driven post-mortem human tissue donation programs and our own biospecimen recovery network, we worked with the Lyme Disease BioBank leadership on plan to collect authorized tissues, such as muscle, skin or bone. The initiative is focused on establishing best practices for identifying, authorizing, recovering, storing and shipping biospecimens across multiple institutions.
In addition to collecting tissues from donors infected with Borrelia bacteria, the project also aims to extensive clinical information from donors, such as symptoms, demographics and history of Lyme disease. Researchers can then examine patients’ medical histories to understand how the Borrelia bacteria multiply throughout the body, causing symptoms that affect the joints, and the nervous and cardiovascular systems.