Welcome to the Lyme Disease Biobank

The lack of availability of well-characterized biological samples has been a major impediment for the Lyme research community. Biorepositories are increasingly important resources for furthering scientific research and knowledge. Bay Area Lyme Foundation created the Lyme Disease Biobank Foundation to bridge that gap, ensuring that scientists have a collection of human biological samples needed to facilitate research in the field of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. This initiative will be expanded to include additional patient and sample types, and collection sites in endemic regions. Through the availability of samples with well-characterized clinical information, investigators will have new tools to advance the study of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections.

Responding to the Need for Lyme Samples

A major gap in Lyme disease research is the lack of well-characterized biological samples. (In 2015, 95% of researchers active in Lyme reported not having access to biological samples from patients with confirmed cases of the disease.) We created the Lyme Disease Biobank (LDB) to help bridge that gap, ensuring that scientists have the samples they need for their research into better diagnostic tests and treatments for Lyme disease and related co-infections.

The Lyme Disease Biobank is a:

  • Network of regional collection centers from endemic regions across the country
  • Central laboratory that handles all processing and storage
  • Consistent set of stringent protocols, validation, and testing
  • Bay Area Lyme supported organization with strong independent leadership and a peer review process to ensure the appropriate rigor and methods are used by applicants to study the samples

History of Biobank

The biobank was conceived in early 2014 and launched with a Fund-A-Need campaign at our annual LymeAid benefit in May that same year. Just months later, collection began with a pilot study at a site on Long Island.

Over the first five seasons, we added three more sites and enrolled >575 participants from the East Coast, upper Midwest, and Bay Area in California. (Each participant’s blood, urine or tissue donation provides samples for at least 50 research projects.) The samples are annotated and characterized with detailed clinical information to support both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Researchers must provide the results from their studies back to the Biobank.

The Biobank now engages five collection sites and there are 30 active projects using Biobank samples. These samples are helping to pave the way for new diagnostics and therapeutics and to improve our understanding of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and co-infections.

Get Involved

The Lyme disease biobank is an important undertaking that will dramatically improve research access to quality samples and expedite the discovery of new treatments and diagnostics.

To learn more about this project and how to get involved, please contact Liz Horn, PhD, MBI, Principal Investigator, at  info@lymebiobank.org.

Click here for the Application Process including downloadable forms and instructions.

To learn more about the Lyme Disease Biobank, click here. A list of collection sites and information about becoming a collection site can be found here. For patient information, click here.

Donate Now to make a contribution.