Pritt, Bobbi

PrittBobbi S. Pritt, MD, MSc, DTM&H
Director, Clinical Parasitology and Vector-Borne Diseases,
Associate Professor, Pathology of Laboratory Medicine Division of Clinical Microbiology
Mayo Clinic, MN

“Borrelia Mayonii: A New Cause of Lyme Disease in the Upper Midwestern US”

Bobbi Pritt, MD, FCAP is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the Clinical Parasitology and Vector-borne Diseases Laboratories in the Division of Clinical Microbiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology as well as Medical Microbiologist, and holds a Master’s degree in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians in London.

Dr. Pritt has presented and published on many topics, including detection and characterization of two new tick-borne organisms, an Ehrlichia and Borrelia species, that infected humans in the midwestern United States.

Conference Lecture Summary

Dr. Bobbi Pritt will describe the discovery of a novel pathogen causing Lyme disease in the upper Midwestern United States. This new bacterium, preliminarily called Borrelia mayonii, causes higher levels of spirochetemia than what is seen with Borrelia burgdorferi, and has been associated with potential neurologic involvement and severe disease. Dr. Pritt will discuss the tests that lead to the detection of B. mayonii, the clinical features observed so far, and the preferred diagnostic methods.

Nigrovic, Lise

Lise Nigrovic, MD, MPH nigrovic
Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Emergency Medicine;
Director of Education, Clinical Research Center Senior Associate Physician in Medicine
Boston Children’s Hospital, MA

Lise Nigrovic, MD, MPH nigrovic
Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Emergency Medicine;
Director of Education, Clinical Research Center; Senior Associate Physician in Medicine
Boston Children’s Hospital, MA

“Initial Management of a Child with Potential Lyme Disease”

I am a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Boston Children’s Hospital with a research focus on the evaluation of children with infectious emergencies. My recent research focus is the diagnostic evaluation of children with possible Lyme disease. I founded a five-center pediatric Lyme disease network (Pedi Lyme Net) with prospective patient enrollment with biosample collection. Our network goal is to evaluate novel approaches to the diagnose of Lyme disease in children presenting to the emergency department.

Conference Lecture Summary

Children commonly get Lyme disease. Initial diagnostic decisions must be made before Lyme disease test results are available. I will present three common clinical case scenarios of children with potential Lyme disease. I will then will review the best available evidence to guide clinical decision-making.


Ericson, Marna

EricsonMarna Ericson, PHD
Director, Cutaneous Imaging Center
Department of Dermatology
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

“Mechanisms of Persistence of Bartonella ssp”

Our goal is to understand mechanism(s) of persistence of vector-borne infectious diseases and in particular the stealth pathogen Bartonella. This pathogen is indeed under-diagnosed due to its fastidious and unique growth characteristics; factors that lead to difficulties in detection. Of particular interest to our lab is the role of biofilms in persistent Bartonellosis and the resulting pathologies. Though the ability of Bartonella species to cause biofilm-mediated endocarditis is reported, the role of Bartonella species biofilm formation elsewhere in the mammalian body is unknown. We are using new imaging technologies and cross-disciplinary approaches to understand these disease mechanisms. Advanced imaging techniques we employ include single- and multi-photon microscopy, correlative microscopy, electron microscopy, microPET imaging, super-resolution confocal microscopy and second harmonic generation. We analyze human tissues and blood for Bartonellae as well as in vitro biofilm and culture methods and we are developing several different mouse models to aid in our research efforts.

Collaboration and innovation are hallmarks of my research endeavors; working with local, national and international colleagues in e.g. Brazil, Germany, England, North Carolina, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, District of Columbia, and the Hormel Institute in Austin, MN. Past successful collaborations include endeavors in infectious disease, skin cancer, myeloma, breast cancer and tumor pain, and hair disease.

Our mission is to use best science practice to address the complicated and under-appreciated complications of chronic Bartonellosis.

Conference Lecture Summary

Bartonella spp, are vector-borne stealth pathogens. Our goal is to understand the role of biofilms in manifestation of prolonged bacteremia and resulting pathologies caused by persistent Bartonella spp. infection. Bartonella species are known to cause life-threatening biofilm-mediated endocarditis. We use advanced imaging techniques to characterize Bartonella spp. biofilms, both in vitro and in vivo. We use single- and multi-photon microscopy and correlative microscopy with electron microscopy, microPET imaging, super-resolution confocal microscopy and second harmonic generation imaging to accomplish these ends. We are using these advanced tools and new mouse models to understand disease persistence and stealth mechanisms.

Bloch, Evan

BlochEvan M. Bloch, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
Associate Director, Transfusion Medicine
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

“Babesia & the Blood Supply: Lessons Learned”

Evan M. Bloch, MBChB (M.D.), M.S. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology where he is an Associate Director in the Division of Transfusion Medicine. Dr. Evan Bloch is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Pathology and an Associate director in the Transfusion Medicine division at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

His major interests include both transfusion transmitted babesiosis and other neglected infectious diseases, particularly in the context of international blood safety. His interest in babesiosis was spurred by a case of transfusion-transmitted babesiosis during his transfusion medicine fellowship. He has since participated in studies of assay development and cost effectiveness related to transfusion screening in the United States.

Dr. Bloch is originally from South Africa where he completed his medical school (University of Cape Town) and clinical training, which first spurred an interest in infectious disease. Following completion of a combined residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (Tufts Medical Center), post-graduate fellowship in Transfusion Medicine (University of California San Francisco [UCSF]) and Masters in Global Health (UCSF) he continued research at Blood Systems Research Institute, while continuing to teach at UCSF in Laboratory Medicine and Global Health Sciences. He joined the faculty of at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Pathology in 2015.

Dr. Bloch has long been interested in babesiosis and other transfusion transmitted infections. Babesiosis is a tick-borne parasitic infection that is endemic to parts of the United States. Although infection is characterized by mild illness (e.g. flu-like symptoms) in immune competent adults, it poses significant risk to those patients at extremes of age, the immunocompromised and the asplenic. These high-risk groups are notably overrepresented among the transfused population accounting for complicated disease and even death in transfusion-transmitted babesiosis (TTB). Despite an increase in both naturally acquired- and TTB, there are currently no effective strategies to prevent TTB, nor any FDA licensed tests for blood product screening. Dr. Bloch has participated in studies to develop both antibody and molecular testis for detection of Babesia in blood donors. The studies have also been used to understand the biology of Babesia infection.

Dr. Bloch is also interested in blood safety in resource-constrained settings. He is an investigator on the Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS-III) in South Africa where he has helped lead a series of studies on transfusion practice and HIV in the obstetric population. Blood transfusion is a severity outcome measure for a variety of disease states; as such it can be used to highlight deficiencies in care, thereby informing rational intervention. Dr. Bloch also participated in an evaluation of transfusion infectious screening in twelve African countries; the findings highlighted the challenges surrounding extant testing methods and emphasized the need for proficiency testing for donor screening in Africa. He has been actively involved in education and operational outreach related to blood safety in Africa.

Dr. Bloch’s research has been funded through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through SBIR and R21 grant mechanisms.

The author of 27 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Bloch is a member of the International Society of Blood Transfusion infectious disease working party (co-chair parasite sub-group) and has consulted on policy and development of clinical transfusion guidelines. He continues to be interested in rare and neglected infections and hopes to use blood transfusion as a platform for infectious surveillance so as to guide programmatic support, particularly in low-resource settings.

Conference Lecture Summary

Babesiosis is the clinical illness named for infection by Babesia, a genus of tick borne, intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites that are endemic to parts of the United States (US). Babesia is readily transfusion transmissible: following an increase in naturally acquired- (i.e. tick borne) and transfusion transmitted babesiosis (TTB) in the US, TTB, the overwhelming majority of which is caused by Babesia microti, has been recognized as the foremost infectious risk to the US blood supply for which licensed donor screening is still not available. Change is underway whereby new tools have been developed, including novel assays and pathogen reduction technology. The purpose of this talk is to discuss Babesia as a model for understanding the response to an emerging infectious disease in the context of blood safety. The talk will include lessons that were learned during the evolution from recognition of risk, to selection of a mitigation strategy, research and development through to implementation and policy. While nuanced challenges may be specific to babesia, the same principles apply to other pathogens, both known as well as emerging.


Miklossy, Judith

MiklossybJudith Miklossy MD, PhD, DSc
Director, International Alzheimer Research Center
President then Director, Prevent Alzheimer International

“Historic and Recent Evidence that Spirochetes Are Able to Reproduce the Clinical, Pathological and Biological Hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Dr. Miklossy, founder, Prevention Alzheimer International Foundation and director, International Alzheimer Research Center in Switzerland (CH) also practices memory and Lyme disease consultation in Vigimed Medical Center, CH. She is board certified in neurology, psychiatry and psychotherapy (Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Hungary) and in neuropathology (Swiss Society of Neuropathology and Swiss Medical Federation). She has received the degrees of Private docent (Dr habil or DSc) and Maître d’Enseignement et de Recherche (MER) in the University Hospital Center of Lausanne (CHUV), University of Lausanne. She was head of the Neurodegeneration research group for more than ten years in the University Institute of Pathology, Lausanne, CH.

She has done molecular biology research and participated in the introduction of Alzheimer’s research in the Center of Neurovirology, Department of Neuroscience, Temple University, Philadelphia.. She headed the neuropathology of the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, in The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She is on the board of directors or scientific advisory board of several international organizations or foundations.

For more than 25 years she is actively involved in research on Alzheimer’s disease and Lyme disease in the framework of international collaborations. Her presentations on international meetings and her publications were repeatedly considered for CME and press releases.

Our research interests include the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative and chronic inflammatory disorders. From 1993 my research focused on the role of bacteria, particularly of spirochetes, in persistent chronic infection, inflammation and amyloidogenesis in AD.

A century ago, Fischer (1907) has been suggested and Alois Alzheimer and his colleagues cited his view on the possibility that microorganisms might play a role in senile plaque formation. Additionally, there is an example in the history of medicine that chronic bacterial infection, namely chronic spirochetal infection (Treponema pallidum can cause slowly progressive dementia & reproduce the pathological and biological hallmarks of AD.

Increasing amount of recent data indicate, as we have suggested in 1993, that several types of spirochetes, including Borrelia burgdorferi and periodontal pathogen spirochetes are involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Recently, reviewing all data available in the literature a statistically strongly significant association, with a high risk factor was found between spirochetes and AD, fulfilling Hill’s criteria in favor of a causal relationship.

Exposure of human and mammalian primary CNS cells and organotypic cultures to spirochetes, showed that similarly to Treponema pallidum, Borrelia burgdorferi reproduces the pathological and biological hallmarks of AD (increased AβPP, Aβ and (p)tau levels).

Now from three decades we are involved in Lyme disease research. We have published the first pathological confirmation of the meningovascular form of chronic or late Lyme neuroborreliosis leading to cerebral vascular infarcts. Together with other authors we contributed to the pathological confirmation of the other major form of chronic Lyme neuroborreliosis, which is identical to the atrophic form of general paresis associated with slowly progressive dementia caused by Treponema pallidum in syphilis. We presented evidences on the direct involvement of Borrelia burgdorferi in the major tertiary forms of chronic Lyme neuroborreliosis. On invitation we contributed with a chapter on the pathology and biology of dementia in syphilis and Lyme disease in the prestigious Handbook of Clinical Neurology.

We have published observations on the presence of various pleomorphic forms, including the more resistant cystic, granular and L forms of Borrelia burgdorferi, in pure Borrelia cultures in infected cell cultures and in brains of demented patients with clinically, serologically and pathologically confirmed Lyme neuroborreliosis. We have also shown that Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes cultivated from thebrains of these patients are virulent and invade neuronal and glial cells and cause apoptosis. Recently, reviewing descriptions and illustrations available on the pathology of Lyme neuroborreliosis from the past 30 years, we reported that the major late or chronic forms of neurosyphilis were pathologically confirmed in Lyme disease as well and Borrelia burgdorferi was cultivated from tertiary lesions by various authors. These observations definitely indicate that chronic Lyme disease exists and Borrelia burgdorferi, similarly to Treponema pallidum plays a direct role in the pathogenesis of the tertiary manifestations of chronic/late Lyme disease.

Conference Lecture Summary

That pathogens suppress, subvert or evade host defences and establish chronic or latent infection had received little attention in the past. Various spirochetes, including Treponema pallidum (T. pallidum), Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) and several periodontal pathogen spirochetes have the ability to escape host defences and establish chronic infection. Various spirochetes, in an analogous way to Treponema pallidum, are involved in the pathogenesis of several chronic disorders including cerebrovascular disorders and in slowly progressive cognitive decline with dementia.

T. pallidum, B. burgdorferi, and periodontal pathogen Treponemes (T. denticola, T. pectinovorum, T. amylovorum, T. maltophilum, T. medium, T. socranskii) persisting in the brain cause dementia and beta amyloid deposition. The two major tertiary forms of chronic neuroborreliosis, namely the meningovascular form with cerebral infarcts and cognitive decline resulting in dementia have been clinically and pathologically confirmed more that 20 years ago, indicating that Borrelia burgdorferi can cause chronic Lyme disease and chronic neuroborreliosis.

Spirochetes, including Borrelia burgdorferi are able to reproduce in vitro and in vivo the pathological and biological hallmarks defining AD dementia. A strong statistically significant association between spirochetes and AD fulfills Hill’s criteria and confirms a causal relationship between spirochetes and dementia. Validation of these observations by historic and recent reports further confirm that senile plaques are made up by spirochetes and correspond to biofilms. That host pathogen interactions in chronic spirochetal infection are identical to those occurring in AD indicates that escaping host immune reactions, spirochetes, including Borrelia burgdorferi, sustain chronic infection and cause, in addition to cerebral infarcts, slowly progressive dementia associated with amyloid deposition in the brain. Association of co-infecting pathogens and formation of multi-bacterial biofilms further aggravate the degenerative process and the outcome of dementia. Importantly, these observations indicate that Alzheimer’s dementia can be prevented.

Moir, Robert

MoirRobert Moir, PhD
Assistant Professor in Neurology, Genetics and Aging Research Unit
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA

“Aβ, Alzheimer’s, and Lyme Disease”

Dr Moir complete his Ph.D at the University of Melbourne in Australia under the mentorship of Prof Colin Masters, one of the founders of the modern field of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. Dr Moir immigrated to the US in 1994 and joined the Genetics and Aging Research Unit (GARU) shortly after the group’s formation. Dr Moir now heads his own research lab within GARU and has been a faculty member of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital since 1998. Dr Moir’s research focus is the interaction of biomolecules involved in AD pathology.

Dr Moir’s research focuses on the biochemical and cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and aging. His work has uncovered new therapeutic targets aimed at preventing the accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ), the primary neurotoxic agent in AD. Moir was the first to identify the low-density lipoprotein receptor protein (LRP) as the mediator of an important early step in Aβ production in the brain. Today, LRP-mediated Aβ clearance pathways are increasingly recognized as major targets for therapeutic intervention. His work revealed the importance of metals in the pathological aggregation of Aβ, leading directly to the investigation of the copper and zinc chelator clioquinol in clinical trials for AD. Dr Moir has also helped establish Aβ’s role in the formation of eye lens cataracts in AD patients, which could lead to better diagnosis of the disease.

His studies on the immune response to amyloid have revealed potential abnormalities in protective Aβ-reactive autoantibodies in AD patients. Therapeutic strategies for AD that are based on this find have lead to the development of artificial antibodies currently in third phase clinical trials. Dr Moir’s most recent studies have identified the normal biological function of Aβ. Aβ is a member of the antimicrobial peptide family of innate immune proteins. Antimicrobial peptides are natural antibiotic that acts as part of the innate immune system to trap and kill pathogens invading the brain. This novel discovery suggests AD may be an inappropriate response to a real or falsely perceived infection in the brain. This finding may also shed light on the pathological mechanisms associated with other major amyloid-associated diseases, including diabetes and arteriosclerosis.

Conference Lecture Summary

Recent confirmation of a protective antimicrobial role for the amyloid-β (Aβ) protein of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has fueled debate on the role of infection in AD etiology. Aβ appears to belong to the antimicrobial peptide (AMP) family of immune proteins. AMPs are natural antibiotics and immunomodulators that act as the foot soldiers of innate immunity. Infection in transgenic animal models of AD leads to protective entrapment of microbes within β-amyloid plaques. Deposition of β-amyloid is a histological hallmark of AD. Here we discuss pathways leading to β-amyloid mediated microbial entrapment and the implications of Aβ’s emerging innate immune role for an AD/Lyme disease link.

Luchini, Alessandra

Alessandra Luchini, PhD luchini
Associate Professor, Applied Proteomics & Molecular Medicine
George Mason University, VA

“Nanotechnology and Proteomics: Improved Diagnostics and Therapeutics in the Era of Personalized Medicine”

Alessandra Luchini is Associate Professor at George Mason University. Her research interests are focused on developing technologies that improve current diagnostics and therapeutics for devastating diseases including cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases. Dr. Luchini authored peer reviewed publications in scientific journals in chemistry, nanotechnology and proteomics and is co-inventor in a series of issued and licensed patents covering her Mason nanotechnology research.

Dr Luchini is co-founder of Ceres Nanosciences Inc. that was created in 2008. In 2009, Dr. Luchini was awarded the Premio award for the top Italian scientist working in the US, Canada and Mexico and the Euwiin Gold Innovation in Science award. In 2011 Dr. Luchini was named as one of the top 10 most brilliant scientists by Popular Science. Dr. Luchini earned a degree in Chemical Engineering cum laude and a PhD in Bioengineering both at the University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Conference Lecture Summary

Nanotrap Urinary Lyme Antigen Test – I will talk about the progress on conquering Lyme disease is severely hindered by the poor quality of existing diagnostic tests for Lyme. Patients with a missed diagnosis harbor Lyme that persists to invade brain, heart, joints, and other tissues. We also need a test to monitor if the disease is successfully treated.

Our Laboratory is dedicated to the development of a highly specific and sensitive urine antigen test for Lyme disease that can be used for diagnosis or monitoring therapy. We created a special nanotechnology, called the Nanotrap, that enables us to increase the sensitivity of our test one thousand times higher than previous testing methods. We are testing for regions of the Lyme surface proteins that are absolutely specific for the Lyme bacteria and detect all species and strains. We are also developing a tick panel test for other tick borne bacteria and viruses that infect patients. We have published our first clinical study and are we are now using our test in a nationwide clinical study.

Fallon, Brian

Brian A. Fallon, MD, MPH (Conference Director)
Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center
Columbia University Medical Center
Director, Center for the Study of Neuroinflammatory Disorders & Biobehavioral Medicine, New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York, NY
Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center

“Acute & Chronic Neuropsychiatric Lyme Disease”

Brian A. Fallon, MD, MPH. Dr. Fallon is director of the Lyme & Tick-borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center where he leads a team focused on biomarkers, diagnostics and treatment of chronic Lyme symptoms. His team’s recent work has included the testing of novel diagnostic assays in a large community study, with the net result of the identification of a more sensitive Lyme Western blot. His team’s work on Lyme encephalopathy led to the discovery of hundreds of unique proteins present in the CSF of Lyme patients but not in the CSF of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome or healthy controls. His team’s current focus is on clarifying the immunologic profile and neural circuitry of patients with persistent symptoms. His team is also investigating the CNS metabolic effects of intravenous ceftriaxone using MR Spectroscopy to probe glutamatergic transmission. Dr. Dwork in his Center is examining the neuropathologic findings in post-mortem studies of patients with chronic Lyme symptoms. Dr. Moeller in his Center is examining the interaction between peripheral immunologic markers, central immune markers, and brain neurocircuitry among patients with chronic symptoms with the goal of identifying of biomarkers to help guide treatment recommendations.

Dr. Fallon serves on the editorial and review board of three journals, has lectured and published widely, and most recently has led an international team for the American Psychiatric Association’s revision of DSM-5 to clarify the prevalence of illness anxiety in the general population.

Conference Lecture Summary

Dr. Fallon will review the acute and chronic neuropsychiatric manifestations of Lyme disease. Mechanisms of disease, neuroimaging and neurocognitive findings, and treatment approaches will be discussed. New findings from a sample of 200 patients with prior Bb infection will be presented.

Esvelt, Kevin

esvelt2Kevin Esvelt, PhD
Leader, Sculpting Evolution Group
Assistant Professor, MIT Media Lab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

“Community-Guided Ecological Immunization to Prevent Tick-Borne Disease”

Kevin Esvelt is an assistant professor of MIT and leader of the Sculpting Evolution group at the MIT Media Lab, which specializes in developing tools to reshape populations and ecosystems. An evolutionary engineer, Esvelt received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010 for inventing a synthetic microbial ecosystem for rapidly evolving useful biomolecules. As a Technology Development Fellow of the Wyss Institute, he helped pioneer the development of a powerful new method of genome engineering based on CRISPR/Cas9, an enzymatic scalpel that can be programmed to cut DNA at any desired sequence.

In 2014, Esvelt and his team were the first to outline how CRISPR could be used to build evolutionarily stable “gene drives” capable of altering wild populations of sexually reproducing organisms. Recognizing the potential implications of a unilateral method of reshaping shared ecosystems, he and his colleagues detailed ways to control, block, or even reverse changes made by gene drives while emphasizing the importance of laboratory safeguards to ensure they do not accidentally escape the laboratory. To set an example for future research in this field, they chose to reveal their findings before experimenting with CRISPR gene drives in the laboratory so that public notification and discussion could guide research and safeguards.

There is little precedent for deciding whether, when, and how to use “collective” technologies whose deployment can affect entire communities. In addition to exploring ecological and evolutionary engineering, Esvelt seeks to establish a new model of open and responsive science in which revealed community expectations guide the development of powerful technologies with shared impacts.

Conference Lecture Summary

The island communities of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are guiding a project to prevent Lyme and other tick-borne diseases by heritably immunizing local populations of wild white-footed mice. Past studies have shown that immunizing mice can substantially reduce the number of infected ticks, which are the source of human infections. We are now sequencing vaccinated mice to identify the antibodies they have evolved to acquire resistance. We will test these mouse antibodies to find the ones that are most protective, then encode them in the genome to create mice that are immune from birth. Releasing these mice on the islands in reasonable numbers over multiple generations would stably introduce the trait to a large fraction of the native mouse population. Island citizens, which were invited to direct the project before any experiments were performed, will make all key decisions and ultimately determine whether the project moves forwards at each stage. If successful, mainland communities could choose to gain the same benefits by using daisy drive systems to spread the antibodies through their own local mouse populations. Precisely blocking disease transmission at its source may be the smallest possible intervention capable of permanently preventing tick-borne disease.


Coyle, Patricia

CoylePatricia K. Coyle, MD, FAAN, FANA
Professor & Vice Chair (Clinical Affairs) Department of Neurology
Director, MS Comprehensive Care Center
Stony Brook University Medical Center
Stony Brook, New York

“Diagnosing Neurologic Lyme Disease”

Patricia K. Coyle, MD, FAAN, FANA, is Professor and Vice Chair (Clinical Affairs) of Neurology, and Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York. She received a BS degree with highest honors from Fordham University, Bronx, New York, and an MD degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. While at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, she completed a residency and chief residency in neurology, followed by a two-year fellowship in neurovirology and neuroimmunology. She then went on to establish a successful research laboratory in addition to building a busy clinical practice at the Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Dr. Coyle is the author of numerous articles on clinical and basic research aspects of neurologic infections and multiple sclerosis (MS). She is recognized as a leading expert in the areas of Lyme disease and neurologic infections, cerebrospinal fluid, therapeutics, and neuroimmunology. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and other organizations, and she directed a Program Project grant on Neurologic Lyme disease. She is currently involved in studies addressing neurologic aspects of Lyme disease, and therapeutic trials testing new immunotherapies for MS. In addition to her busy clinical and research careers, she has held active leadership positions in a number of national and international organizations and academic societies, including the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, National MS Society, and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She served on the FDA CNS/PNS Advisory Panel and currently serves on the Southampton Hospital Tick Resource Center Advisory Panel. She lectures widely on neurologic infections and MS to national and international audiences.

Conference Lecture Summary

Lyme disease is our major human spirochetal infection. The nervous system is a favored target organ. This talk will discuss the diagnosis of neurologic Lyme disease in practical terms. It will cover when to suspect the infection, characteristic as well as unusual syndromes, the main differential diagnoses, and appropriate workup including how to interpret the variety of test results. The goal is not to miss the diagnosis of neurologic Lyme disease, so that appropriate and timely treatment may be provided.