Research ArticleInfectious diseases

Metabolic differentiation of early Lyme disease from southern tick–associated rash illness (STARI)

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Science Translational Medicine  16 Aug 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 403, eaal2717
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aal2717

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Avoiding rash decisions

The iconic bulls eye rash is associated with Lyme disease, but similar symptoms are observed in other illnesses not caused by Borrelia burgdorferi infection, such as southern tick–associated rash illness, which has not yet been tied to a specific pathogen. Molins et al. set out to define a metabolic signature that would be able to distinguish early Lyme disease from southern tick–associated rash illness. Their findings confirm that these diseases are quite distinct. Moreover, use of the signature could help guide diagnosis and patient treatment.