Allyshia Gupta, Miss California USA and Bay Area Lyme Ambassador
Miss California USA 2020, Allyshia Gupta, shares her personal story of finding herself through hardship and loss, and the importance of service as a source of strength.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tara DiMilia, 908-947-0500, tara.dimilia@TMstrat.com
Bay Area Lyme Foundation Launches Ticktective™ Podcast
PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif., September 30, 2020 — Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, announces the launch of the Ticktective podcast and video series. Ticktective is a Bay Area Lyme Foundation program designed to investigate the latest scientific knowledge and advances in Lyme and tick-borne diseases. The podcast offers insightful discussion with researchers, physicians, patients, and thought leaders in the field.
“Because the science surrounding tick-borne disease is so complex and there are so many unanswered questions, Ticktective aims to share firsthand perspectives about the challenges of Lyme in ways that will intrigue more scientists, physicians and patients to join our battle towards making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure,” said Linda Giampa, executive director, Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
There are more than 400,000 people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the US, and millions of Americans live with persistent Lyme disease (PLD) caused by an ongoing bacterial infection. The current “gold standard” diagnostic for Lyme disease misses up to 60% of cases of early stage Lyme disease, and
if not treated promptly, Lyme may progress to a debilitating stage, becoming difficult, or impossible, to cure. Bay Area Lyme Foundation has funded over 100 research projects at 37 institutions across the US in a mission to find solutions for these patients.
“I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity, and my own diagnosis of Lyme disease has driven me to use this curiosity to find answers that will help lead to solutions for all tick-borne diseases,” said Ticktective host Lia Gaertner, who is the director of education and outreach for Bay Area Lyme Foundation and holds degrees in environmental science and ethnobotany.
Initial Ticktective interviews include conversations addressing the challenges of developing a diagnostic for Lyme disease, the scientific techniques being used to overcome these challenges, what motivates researchers taking on this challenge, and the frustration of patients.
“I was driven to become a songwriter as I wanted to make people feel understood, knowing that the best songs are personal yet universal. With that same spirit, it’s been vital to me to use my voice to be honest about what I’ve learned about the travesty of tick-borne diseases. In an area of medicine filled with misinformation, Ticktective is bringing valuable insights and help straight to the Lyme community. I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to share my Lyme experience with listeners of Ticktective,” said Parish, whom Gaertner refers to as a fierce champion for the under-represented Lyme community.
Listen to the Ticktective podcast here. Check out other resources of Bay Area Lyme Foundation, including printable fact sheets, videos, educational tools and more, and follow us on and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Lyme Disease
The most common vector-borne infectious disease in the country, Lyme disease is a potentially disabling infection caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick to people and pets. If caught early, most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and unreliable diagnostic tests. There are more than 400,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, according to statistics released in 2018 by the CDC. As a result of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, more than one million Americans may be suffering from the impact of its debilitating long-term symptoms and complications, according to Bay Area Lyme Foundation estimates.
About Bay Area Lyme Foundation
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a national organization committed to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, is a leading public not-for-profit sponsor of innovative Lyme disease research in the US. A 501c3 non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley, Bay Area Lyme Foundation collaborates with world-class scientists and institutions to accelerate medical breakthroughs for Lyme disease. It is also dedicated to providing reliable, fact-based information so that prevention and the importance of early treatment are common knowledge. A pivotal donation from The LaureL STEM Fund covers overhead costs and allows for 100% of all donor contributions to Bay Area Lyme Foundation to go directly to research and prevention programs. For more information about Lyme disease or to get involved, visit www.bayarealyme.org or call us at 650-530-2439.
Bay Area Lyme Foundation Advisory Board Member, “Chronic” co-author and SonyATV singer/songwriter, Dana Parish, shares her perspective on chronic diseases, autoimmunity, COVID-19, and speaking out in the face of adversity. “Chronic: The Hidden Cause of the Autoimmune Pandemic and How to Get Healthy Again” is available for purchase on Amazon here.
Bay Area Lyme’s 2020 Emerging Leader Award Winner, Jacob Lemieux, MD, PhD, of the Harvard/MIT Broad Institute, discusses Borrelia and malaria, next-generation sequencing, COVID-19, and Lyme diagnostic challenges.
Bay Area Lyme’s 2020 Emerging Leader Award Winner, Artem Rogovsky, DVM, PhD, of the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, discusses radioactive ticks, Lyme diagnostics, and how a kid’s birthday party can lead to novel research.
Principal Investigator for the Bay Area Lyme Disease Biobank, Liz Horn, PhD, MBI, discusses the Biobank which has enrolled over 900 participants, supporting over 50 research projects so far. They support research projects across the nation by providing precious serum, whole blood, urine and tissue samples to researchers.
– Wendy Adams, Research Grant Director, Bay Area Lyme Foundation
This pandemic has brought many different modalities in diagnostics, drug development and vaccines to the popular press. In the Tick-borne Disease (TBD) community, we have seen the issues that arise when the timely diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease are hampered by insensitive diagnostics and ineffective treatments.
It bears repeating however, that drugs that fight the infection in question (antibiotics, antiparasitics, or antivirals) are a large part of any eventual solution to an outbreak, especially in advance of a vaccine (see HIV). Antimicrobial therapeutics help keep the pathogen from replicating uncontrolled, allowing the complicated immune system processes to catch up to it, control it and then eradicate it.
One specific treatment modality is being widely discussed: monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). These are the drugs upon which the whole biotech industry and companies like Genentech, Biogen and Amgen were literally built. Six out of the top 10 drugs by sales are mAbs, mostly for oncology and autoimmune disease indications. However, mAbs have not been commonly used for infectious disease (with one major exception we’ll talk about later).
Antibodies are proteins made by the mammalian immune system. They are a workhorse of the acquired immune response and fight specific antigens, which can be anything from an invading pathogen to an aberrant cell or cytokine that needs destruction. Monoclonal antibodies as a drug class are also very specific and only bind to one antigen. They can bind to a single receptor on the outside of a cell, so that cell can’t receive or send out a message. Or the cell can be tagged so the immune system recognizes the cell as foreign and can destroy it. Binding only one target is important to reduce side effects caused by binding to multiple targets.