For several years, Regenerus Labs have proudly been in partnership with BCA-Labs (formerly Infectolab) one of Europe’s leading centres for infectious agent laboratory testing.
BCA-Lab is a division of BCA-Clinic, in Ausburg, Germany (Betriebs GmbH & Co. KG (bca-clinic.de)
BCA Clinic is a large, multi-provider clinic that specialises in treating tick-born illness such as Lyme disease and the various co-infections. BCA-clinic also specialises in Multi-infectious Disease Syndrome and Multi-System illness such as severe immune deficits and chronic fatigue.
BCA Clinic are extraordinary in that they have a single facility that is able to provide consulting hours, medical diagnostics, laboratory testing, specialised therapy and rehabilitation, all under one roof.
In this way, they have helped thousands of people to recover from the debilitating conditions of Lyme and associated disease.
This unique environment also provides an unparalleled opportunity for research, gathering data and developing frontier treatments and therapies.
Established in 2006, BCA-lab provides diagnostic tests and conducts research into a wide range of vector-borne diseases, and both informs and is informed by the work done at BCA-clinic. They are a laboratory dedicated to continuously adjusting diagnostic requirements, monitoring treatment and performing state-of-the-art research, and they remain the leader in Europe because the close relationship between patients’ treatment and the laboratory allows for constant feedback and growth that is not possible in a research-only setting.
BCA-lab is accredited by the German accreditations office DAkkS in accordance with DIN EN ISO 15189:2014.
The EliSpot (Interferon-Gamma-Test):
Ellispot can be used to determine immune activity on a cellular basis. It is FDA approved and considered “efficient”. It was originally developed for tuberculosis, but the exact same test-principles apply for other infectious agents such as Borrelia, EBV, Chlamydia and other specific antigens.
The Borrelia-EliSpot reflects the actual cellular activity in Lyme disease. The result is quoted in the number of a stimulation index (SI). The higher the SI, the higher is the probability of an actual active Borrelia infection.
The “LymeSpot Revised”: The new EliSpot
The LymeSpot Revised, delivers detailed information about the activity of the infection. This test is better at determining whether we are dealing with an active (specific effector-cells) or a latent (specific memory-cells) infection. EliSpot is based on the production of γ-interferon, whereas LymeSpot also detects cytokine IL-2.
If the relation between y-interferon and interleukin-2 is inverted, the disease is more likely to be at a latent stage, in this case an anti-infective treatment would not be applicable. If the memory cells and effector-cells are both present, then both the infection and the inflammation are still present. In this case, the best course of therapy will be decided based upon the clinical profile of the patient.
This additional differentiation allows us to make much more clear and informed decisions on how to approach a patient’s treatment.
Another possible method to assess the function of the cellular immune system is the evaluation of the quantity of specific NK cells (natural killer cells), specifically a sup-population of NK cells known as CD57 cells.
The CD57+cells results are an absolute number of cells (per microliter (µl) and the number recorded reflects immune status. It has been observed, that in chronic lyme disease the CD57 count may be low. For treatment, the cell count is also used as a marker for improvement.
The CD57+cells are detected using flow-cytometry.
Using CD57+cells alongside Ellispot and LymeSpot is recommended for accurate understanding of the patient’s immune status.
In specific cases, direct detection of the pathogen’s DNA/RNA (using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing) in a sample may be indicated.
The detectability of pathogen-DNA/RNA in blood or tissue (e.g. Erythema migrans) or puncture fluid (e.g. knee) indicates the (temporary) presence of the pathogen.
A positive PCR result therefore provides direct proof of the presence of an infection with the detected pathogen.
However, it should be noted that the presence of a pathogen in a sample and thereby the detectability of pathogen-specific nucleic acids depends on the pathomechanism and also varies with the stage of disease.
Advanced technique, i.e. the nested PCR, real-time PCR or qPCR, achieve the highest sensitivity for the detection of pathogens.
For the detection of Lyme disease pathogens, BCA-Lab developed their own in-house PCR testing system, which is based on multiple consecutive PCR reactions and which detects different pathogen genes with high sensitivity and specificity. BCA-lab is therefore one of the few laboratories that is able to detect Borrelia miyamotoi. The spectrum of molecular biological pathogen detection is completed by a PCR-based Bartonella-Assay.
More information and studies: www.bca.de, Our opinion & studies and www.bca-lab.de.