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Jyotsna Shah has done her BSc and MSc in Biological Sciences in the UK and her PhD in diagnostic immunology from Nairobi University, Kenya. She then joined the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD) as a post-doctoral scientist where she started the first DNA sequencing laboratory in East Africa. On completion of her fellowship, she joined Harvard University, Department of Tropical Medicine, as a research fellow and continued to work on the development of molecular tools for diagnosis of parasitic diseases. Presently she is the President and CEO of Igenex Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA.
Borreliosis is caused by two groups of Borrelia, B. burgdorferi group and the relapsing fever Borrelia group. Until recently it was believed that B. burgdorferi group is the only group that causes Lyme-like symptoms. However we now know that relapsing fever borrelia too causes Lyme-like symptoms. Symptoms caused by both these Borrelia groups are often confused with MS, Chronic fatigue, osteo-arthritis, and ALS. Therefore it is necessary to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to differentiate Borreliosis from other diseases. Thus we have developed highly sensitive and specific immunoblots to detect and differentiate the two groups of Borrelia. Based on our studies in US the specificity of the imunoblots is greater 92% for IgM and 100% for IgG. Using these immunoblots we have demonstrated that both B.burgdorferi and relapsing fever Borrelia are also present. This is based on a study performed on over 500 patients.