Rapid Diagnostics of Tick-borne Diseases


Invention Summary:

Tick-borne diseases are a major health problem in the United States. Among them, Lyme disease due to the Borrelia spp., Anaplasmosis due to Anaplasma spp., and Babesiosis caused by Babesia spp., account for a large number of cases occurring throughout the country. Although treatment is readily available to combat these pathogens, a delay in initiating treatment can have deadly consequences. In many cases, treatment is started with clinical suspicion alone due to the rapid onset and progression of disease symptoms. This aggressive approach toward treatment stems from the lack of a rapid, sensitive, and specific assay to diagnose the agents of these deadly infections. Conventional methods of diagnosis which include microscopic detection, and serological assays lack the required sensitivity and specificity. The current unmet need is the development of a newer diagnostic platform that would enable the timely and precise detection of these pathogens.


Rutgers scientists have devised a novel approach that not only helps to rapidly diagnose the etiological agents of disease but can also identify all three pathogens in a single assay. This innovative concept utilizes the widely available real-time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) based molecular beacon technology to enable precise and rapid detection of all three tick-borne diseases. The assay has also been standardized to detect these individual pathogens with enhanced sensitivity and specificity. The assay has also been shown to be consistently superior with a wide range of clinical samples, including blood. This feature would be particularly useful in identifying cases of transfusion-associated Babesiosis.

Market Applications:

  • Infectious disease diagnostics
  • Veterinary disease diagnostics
  • Research tools
  • Therapeutic efficacy 


  • Rapid diagnostics
  • High throughput 
  • Increased sensitivity 
  • Improved specificity

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Issued patent US 2020/0157610 A1Available for licensing and/or research collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact marketingbd@research.rutgers.edu .

Patent Information: