(PRWEB) March 24, 2016
Coppe Laboratories, a specialized medical diagnostics company, has announced the availability of testing for a tick-associated virus, the Powassan Virus (POWV).
Transmitted by the tick known to carry Lyme disease bacteria, the POWV is a member of the family of viruses that include such familiar names as Zika, West Nile, and Yellow Fever.
Coppe Laboratories is the first commercial laboratory to provide POWV testing, which will include both a direct and indirect test.
Symptoms associated with POWV are similar to those of Lyme disease, but may be more severe.
Fever, headache, nausea, vomiting muscle weakness, and stiff neck are common. In serious cases, POWV causes fatigue, confusion, memory loss, and encephalitis.
Although the typical bullseye rash associated with Lyme disease is not a sign of Powassan infection, an individual affected with Lyme disease bacteria may also be infected with POWV, since ticks often carry more than one pathogen. A study by Coppe Laboratories in 2015 demonstrated that POWV was detected on average in 3-8% of black-legged ticks across Wisconsin. Eight percent of the ticks tested harbored more than one pathogen and Borrelia was positive in all co-infections. In the “hyperendemic” area of northwestern Wisconsin, 52% of the ticks studied carried Borrelia and POWV was detected in 11%.
The CDC has noted that POWV risk is present in the same areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Some patients with ongoing symptoms of Lyme disease who have not responded to the usual antibiotics may be infected with other pathogens, like Powassan virus,” said Dr. Konstance Knox, CEO of Coppe Laboratories, who noted that Powassan virus may be underreported because of the lack of commercial testing. “Our goal with Coppe Laboratories’ new testing for Powassan virus is two-fold: To help physicians provide better diagnoses and information to patients and to gain a more realistic understanding of the true incidence of Powassan virus in our population.”
About Coppe Laboratories – http://www.coppelabs.com
Coppe Laboratories, headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin, is a specialized, Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act (CLIA) certified diagnostic laboratory that provides a spectrum of laboratory tests with an emphasis on the role of infections in acute and chronic diseases. They are committed to eliminating barriers experienced by physician and patients in the diagnosis of disease through scientific research and innovative diagnostic assays. Providing physicians and their patients with accurate, high quality, and clinically relevant results in a timely fashion is their goal.
Coppe Laboratories is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coppe Healthcare Solutions, which uses scientific expertise to transform novel procedures routinely used in research into validated diagnostic tests for acute and chronic illnesses.