The engine of the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab is fueled by ideas, intellects and infrastructure, all of which are now aligning.
Now Recruiting - Canada Wide
The G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab is committed to studying the biology and human impact of Lyme disease. We are excited to announce a collaboration with researchers in the Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, who bring new dimensions to our mandate. This study (REB # 18-05-008) will examine the interactions that patients and families have with healthcare providers in the process of diagnosing and / or managing Lyme disease in Canada. The concept of ‘client-centred care’ describes the partnership between the patient and his/her healthcare providers, continuity and consistency of care, respect, and knowledge exchange. This study will use questionnaires to evaluate the ‘client-centred care’ that patients received, as well as the symptoms and functional impairment they experienced. The goal is to identify areas for improvement in the delivery of health care in Canada. The study is open to anyone in Canada who is 19 years of age or older, fluent in English, capable of providing consent, and has / had Lyme disease (diagnosed in Canada or internationally). For more information, or to enroll in the study, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Importance of Research
Our team is investigating ways to alleviate the impact of Lyme Disease in Canada and around the world. This aim has many layers to it and we are taking a multi-pronged approach to address the problem from the perspective of fundamental and clinical microbiology, as well as human host biology. A major stumbling block that has stymied medical professionals and prevented meaningful progress in the field is the absence of a diagnostic test that can report the presence or absence of the pathogen in a patient. It is critical that we establish a means to accurately diagnose the disease and determine when the infection has truly resolved. This is a top priority of the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab.
We also need to better understand the long-term implications of the disease. What happens in the months and years after the onset of illness? Biologically speaking, what is chronic or post treatment Lyme Disease and how should it be treated? How long can the pathogen persist in the body and withstand anti-microbial intervention? Does its susceptibility to antibiotics change over time? Questions of the nature and virulence of bacterial strains and the biomarkers they produce can be addressed using high content ‘omics’ applications.
Analyzing the genome and proteome (the complete collection of genetic material and proteins, respectively) of Borrelia burgdorferi will provide clues about pathogenic mechanism. Comparing a large number of isolates -- from humans, wildlife and ticks -- will allow us to identify common traits that support human colonization and biomolecules that are unique to this pathogen and consistently produced during infection. We will then be able to develop tools to detect the signature molecules and apply them to screen human tissues.
In a complementary fashion, it is of great interest to determine how the bacterium interacts with cells and tissues of the human host and whether some members of the population have a predisposition to more severe manifestations of Lyme Disease. Do people uniformly respond to the same treatment strategies? Can we predict who will recover fully from acute illness or whether the disease will present predominantly with musculoskeletal or neurological symptoms? While these are large questions with considerable untapped potential, we are starting with a few focused, well defined hypotheses.
Our clinical program is positioned to investigate the association between vascular iron burden, antioxidant properties and disease severity in Lyme sufferers. The human biology and host-pathogen scientific agendas are positioned to yield findings of diagnostic, prognostic and possibly therapeutic significance.