The tick bite in Friuli is scary, an innovative test for diagnosis

A tick bite test.

The increase in temperatures is causing an increase in the presence, throughout the Italian territory and especially in Friuli Venezia Giulia, of the mint. The parasite’s bite is painless but can be a health hazard. During the meal, in fact, various infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, protozoa, etc.) responsible for even complex diseases, sometimes serious and not always easy to recognize, can be transmitted. The most common disease is Lyme disease. It usually begins with localized redness (erythema migrans) in the bite area. If left untreated, it affects the joints, the nervous system, sometimes involving the eye and heart and other internal organs. It evolves to successive stages and can have a persistent course.

It is in Friuli Venezia Giulia that one of the major Italian experts on the subject operates, Professor Maurizio Ruscio, professor at the University of Trieste, national president of the Italian Group for the Study of Lyme disease (GISLM). Ruscio collaborates with Friuli Coram, a qualified and historic company based in Udine and with a “core business” in the healthcare sector since 1973 which has made scientific rigor its credo. An all-Friulian excellence protagonist of scientific research on Lyme disease.

Friuli Coram is developing a brand new diagnostic test, as confirmed by Alessia Rampino, one of the directors of the company: ‘The hope is that this new test is available from the end of August. This is the dosage of ‘Interferon gamma for Borrelia, the agent responsible for Lyme disease’.

It is an innovative test that can be performed exclusively on a national level: documents the presence of the infectious agent responsible for Lyme disease in the tissues. The usefulness of this test is twofold – says Ruscio: it is positive at the onset of the infection before the traditional serological tests but, in particular, it allows to document the disappearance of the Borrelia burgdorferi after antibiotic therapy. This aspect is not negligible as the common serological tests remain positive in post-therapy controls, even after healing, sometimes resulting in the administration of further unnecessary therapies.

However, ticks are also responsible for the transmission of other diseases such as TBE (Tick-borne encephalitis) or tick-borne meningoencephalitis, a severe disease affecting the nervous system and numerous other infections all with feverish onset such as: Anaplasmosis-Erhlichiosis, rickettsiosis,with recurrent fever, Mediterranean button fever and other rarer pathologies. For all these diseases, sophisticated molecular investigations are carried out at the Friuli Coram Laboratory able to detect any “coinfections” which can be associated with Lyme disease or occur individually.

This complex of diseases in addition to Friuli Venezia Giulia, and more generally in the Triveneto, they have also become endemic in Lombardy and Piedmont, up to Liguria. Important outbreaks of Lyme disease (and not only) are reported in Emilia-Romagna, in Tuscany, without sparing the regions of central and southern Italy.

The importance of prevention.

However, prevention is always better than cure. Avoiding ticks is the best way to protect your health. It is important to put in place small, effective measures to use first, during and after an immersion in the green. Before leaving, wear clothing that covers as much of the body as possible. During the excursion, walk in the middle of the paths, avoiding contact with uncultivated grass, leaves and bushes. Upon returning, brush your clothes and inspect yourself carefully from head to toe. If despite the precautions if a tick is found on the skin, it must be removed immediately and adequately, note the date and pay attention to the symptoms that may appear in the following weeks: persistent redness on the skin or fever should not be underestimated. A prompt diagnosis and a correct therapy are the best conditions for a complete recovery, concludes Ruscio.

Great satisfaction for Friuli Coram which has been working for years in the health sector. ‘It fills us with pride to be able to claim to have done it steps forward in this specific sector, as well as having a luminary such as Professor Ruscio. And the development of this new test is entirely from Friuli, to be offered to the entire scientific community, as well as, of course, to the end user ”, underlines Rampino.

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