Differentiation of Early Lyme Disease from Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI)

At a Glance

By applying an unbiased metabolomics approach with sera retrospectively obtained from well-characterized patients, researchers at Colorado State University in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control defined biochemical and diagnostic differences between early Lyme disease and STARI.  The novel method can distinguish between early Lyme disease and STARI with 98 percent accuracy.


Lyme disease, the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States, results from infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Early clinical diagnosis of this disease is largely based on the presence of an erythematous skin lesion for individuals in high-risk regions. This, however, can be confused with other illnesses including southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), an illness that lacks a defined etiological agent or laboratory diagnostic test, and is co-prevalent with Lyme disease in portions of the Eastern United States.


  • Increased sensitivity
  • High specificity
  • Early detection
  • Differentiates between Lyme disease and STARI
Last Updated: April 2022

Available for Licensing

IP Status

US 11230728
US Patent Pending


John T Belisle
Claudia R Molins
Gary P Wormser

Reference Number
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Jessy McGowan