The Doctors’ Guide to Priority Arthropod – Borne Disease Diagnostic Testing

Medical professionals across the country face two acute challenges when choosing the right diagnostic testing for their patients: one is ensuring the accuracy of diagnostic test results and two is the lack of availability of commercial testing, particularly as far as arthropod-borne disease diagnostic testing is concerned. Given that every Doctor would love peace of mind when choosing a testing facility, this article takes a closer look at one of the most reputable testing facilities in the US.

Coppe Laboratories is located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The company is led by world-renowned virologist, Dr. Konstance Knox. With more than 30 years of experience in the diagnostic testing space, Dr. Knox has earned a solid reputation for delivering meaningful test results to physicians worldwide. She was featured in a recent article by a well-known health magazine and has an impressive track record of thought leadership in various medical research journals. A quick look at Coppe Laboratories’ diagnostic test menu reveals just how much they currently contribute to helping physicians solve key questions regarding patients’ conditions.

Doctors face a new kind of challenge in many parts of the world today:

There is no doubt that in recent years, as the world became smaller and the movement of people and subsequent diseases changed, that the complexity of disease challenges we face has also evolved. As we have seen with the Zika virus, what begins as a national emergency in one part of the world, can quickly become a global problem. Currently the US is faced with multiple arthropod-borne diseases, including Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Powassan and West Nile virus.

Image credit: UCDavis.edu

The biggest challenge? Misdiagnosis is common and can be very dangerous:

Most arthropod-borne diseases share common symptoms with each other and with other illnesses. Presenting with classic “flu-like” symptoms, patients may often delay obtaining medical attention. Diagnosis is then further confounded when cases are misdiagnosed or wrongly treated. In addition to the elderly and the very young, pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the complications of undiagnosed arthropod-borne diseases. For this reason, Coppe provides improved turnaround time when compared to other specialty labs – which is important to help reduce the risk of birth defects. Although misdiagnosis is common, it is certainly not acceptable – as it can be damaging to both a Doctors’ reputation and the patient’s health. Coppe Laboratories strives to provide Doctors and their patients with the most relevant and accurate arthropod-borne disease testing available.

CDC recommendations and testing protocol for pregnant women:

When women are suspected of having exposure to the Zika virus, the CDC recommends they be screened at each prenatal visit. West Nile and Powassan, two viruses closely related to Zika, can also cause complications during pregnancy and fetal abnormalities. Coppe is the only commercial diagnostic lab that provides prenatal screening tests for both viruses. Dr. Knox recommends: “Any woman with a suspected tick exposure during pregnancy should be screened for Lyme disease, Babesia and Powassan virus to avoid fetal developmental abnormalities and complications for newborns.”

Conclusion:

Arthropod-borne diseases are reported to cause more than 700,000 deaths annually. As stated by medical researchers: “Vector-borne diseases (VBD) are of major importance to human and animal health. In recent years, VBDs have been emerging or re-emerging in new geographical areas, resulting in alarming new disease threats and economic losses”. Doctors, not only in the US but worldwide, will be under more pressure than ever before to provide patients access to accurate, affordable testing. Collaborating with a specialized testing facility such as Coppe Labs can make a real difference.

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