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Portable Lyme disease test kit becomes 1st product from state-owned PA universities

By David Schwartz
Published: February 13th, 2013

A start-up from East Stroudsburg University (ESU) has introduced a Lyme-Aid Diagnostic Tick Testing Kit, the first product on the market to come out of one of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were more than 24,000 cases of Lyme disease reported nationwide in 2011, though it is most prevalent in the northeast, mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest.

The kit, which lets people test the ticks they find on themselves or their pets for Lyme disease, is the brainchild of graduate student Melissa Shaw, who in 2010 won a $3,000 state grant to make a prototype. Over the next several months, university staff tapped their industry networks to help license, manufacture and commercialize the kit.

“You can put them in your backpack,” says Jane Huffman, co-founder of Lyme-Aid and director of the Northeast Wildlife DNA Lab at ESU, where Shaw began developing the kit. “You can keep them at home in case you have to deal with a tick,” Huffman says.

Garret Hewitt International, a Connecticut company that specializes in cosmetics and new inventions, eventually licensed Lyme-Aid, and it now manufactures and sells the kit.

The Lyme-Aid kit sells for $5.99 online and is available at about 100 stores in 20 states.

Source: Keystone Edge

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