Are There Any Risks To Lyme Disease Tests
There is very little risk to having a blood test or a lumbar puncture. If you had a blood test, you may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly. If you had a lumbar puncture, you may have pain or tenderness in your back where the needle was inserted. You may also get a headache after the procedure.
Is Lyme Disease Curable
While there is no vaccine to prevent us from getting Lyme disease, it can be treated with antibiotics, and most people recover within a few weeks. However, some people can get what is known as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, in which symptoms such as pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking can last for months.
How Does The Equine Lyme Multiplex Assay Work
The Equine Lyme Multiplex Assay was developed at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University. It detects antibodies to three antigens of B. burgdorferi in equine serum . The test is based on fluorescent beads and allows the simultaneous measurement of antibodies to all three B. burgdorferi antigens in a single sample13.
Figure 2:B. burgdorferi
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When Should I Get Checked For Lyme Disease
Generally, it is best to get tested for Lyme disease if you live where ticks are common or have recently visited such areas. Most certainly, you should get tested if you suspect that a tick has bitten you. It is important to talk to your doctor if you think you have any of the following early Lyme disease symptoms:
- A rash resembling a bulls eye on the spot where youve been bitten
Other symptoms dont show up immediately. Sometimes, it takes up to a few weeks or months after the tick bite to notice the following:
- Swelling on the joints or severe joint pain
- Tingling in the feet and hands
- Shortness of breath
While it is okay get checked early, Lyme disease test results numbers are more authentic a few weeks after youve been bitten by a carrier-tick. Your body would have developed antibodies within that period, and that can make it easier to detect the disease.
What Happens If You Go Untreated For Lyme Disease
If you happen to test positive for Lyme disease but go untreated, then your symptoms may increase significantly. You may develop early-onset arthritis, facial palsy, and inflammation of the brain stem and spine. Those symptoms can affect how your brain works and your ability to function cognitively.
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Diagnosis Testing And Treatment
You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.
Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.
It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:
If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.
- Report being bitten by a tick, or
- Live in, or have recently visited, a tick-infested area.
Differential Diagnosis Of Lyme Borreliosis
The combined use of the automated VIDAS® Lyme IgM and VIDAS® Lyme IgG assays will help you provide patients with reliable, differential diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis in just 27 minutes.
- Clear-cut results
- High specificity and sensitivity
- Specific detection of IgG antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi sensulato and in cerebro-spinal fluid samples, to aid in the diagnosis of Neuroborreliosis*
Transmitted through the bite of infected ticks, Lyme Borreliosis is the most common and rapidly spreading tick-borne disease in the world. However many of the symptoms can also occur with other diseases. VIDAS® Lyme IgM and VIDAS®Lyme IgG allow accurate, rapid, differential diagnosis to avoid misdiagnosis and help prevent progression of the disease towards severe and disabling neurological, cutaneous or articular manifestations.
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Available Tests For Lyme Borreliosis
Borrelia b. fully antigen + Borrelia b. peptide mix + LFA-1
Borrelia burgdorferi-IgM and Borrelia burgdorferi-IgG antibodies by
Borrelia burgdorferi-DNA-PCR in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, tissue
Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato & Borrelia miyamotoi-DNA-PCR*
Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato with the following subspecies:
- USA: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto , Borrelia andersonii, Borrelia americanum, B. carolinensis, B. bissettii, B. myamotoi
- Europe: Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, B. spielmanii, B. valaisiana, B. lusitaniae, B. bavariensis
- Asia: Borrelia japonica, B. rutdi, B. tanukii, B. sinica, B. yangtze
Vector / Transmission:
Ixodes ricinus , Ixodes scapularis , Ixodes pacificus
There are 3 stages of an infection:
e.g. Morbus Alzheimer, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome , Autism, Parkinsonism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Autoimmune disorders
My Tick Test Returned Positive For Lyme Disease Babesia Or Another Tick
Tick testing can provide you with an important early warning that you have been exposed to a tick-borne disease. If your tick submission comes back positive, there are steps that you can take to ensure the health of yourself or your loved one.
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How To Test For Lyme Disease
Wondering how to get tested for Lyme disease? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a two-step testing process to check for a Lyme disease infection, both of which involve antibody testing , typically done on the same blood sample.
If the first step in the process returns a negative test result, then the second step is not necessary. However, if the first step yields a positive result, the second test is recommended as confirmation of a Lyme disease diagnosis. The Everlywell Lyme Disease Test follows this recommended protocol from the CDC, so it includes the two-step testing process.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that results from a tick bite. The symptoms vary, and you can feel sick for months because of it. Some of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease are flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and headache. A rash can also occur in 70 to 80 percent of infections. If left untreated, the symptoms can worsen into facial palsy, dizziness, heart palpitations, and more.
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Are Test Results Accurate
When looking at your test results, itâs important to know that laboratory methods can have a significant impact on the outcome of Lyme disease antibody testing.
Analyzing blood samples for Borrelia antibodies is a technical process. In some cases, cross-reactivity can cause a positive result when you havenât actually had a Borrelia infection. Cross-reactivity is when antibodies to other infectious organisms are detected by the test as if they were antibodies to Borrelia.
The CDC has created standards for testing in order to reduce the chances of this kind of false positive result. Studies have found that results are most reliable in labs that use these CDC standards.
The timing of blood antibody testing can also affect accuracy because IgM and IgG antibodies develop at different rates. Taking the test too early after Borrelia exposure can lead to a false negative result even if you have an active infection.
Beyond antibody blood testing, many test methods marketed for Lyme disease are not proven to be accurate. The CDC recommends against the use of unvalidated tests, including the following:
- Urine tests such as urine antigen or PCR tests
- Blood testing with PCR or any laboratory method other than an enzyme immunoassay, immunofluorescence assay, or the Western Blot, also called immunoblot, method
- Cell culture, immunofluorescence staining, or cell sorting of Borrelia bacteria
- Lymphocyte transformation tests
- CD57 lymphocyte assays
What We Look For In The Best Lyme Disease Tests
There are a few important criteria we look for when choosing a test for Lyme disease. Some may be of higher priority to you than others, but all are worth considering while you decide.
- Trustworthiness: Does the company have positive reviews from real customers. Do they test your samples in accredited labs?
- Value-for-money: Does the Lyme disease cost come at a fair price with no pricey add-ons?
- Actionability: Does your report guide you towards the next steps following a positive result? Is experienced medical advice available?
- Speedy Results: Are your results delivered in a timely manner so you can take any required action as soon as possible?
- Report Clarity: Can you understand your results? Is support available if you require further explanation?
- IgG and IgM antibody test for Lyme disease bacteria
- CLIA and Cap-accredited labs
The Lyme disease test from LetsGetChecked analyzes your blood sample for reactivity to Borrelia IgG and IgM antibodies Borrelia is the bacteria carried by some ticks, that causes Lyme disease. A large concentration of IgM can indicate recent infection, while a higher concentration of IgG may indicate a Lyme disease infection thats been present for a while.
If you test positive, a member of the nursing team will call you to discuss your results and treatment options. If you need any additional support, the nursing team is available 24/7 to answer any questions that may have slipped your mind during your consultation.
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Why It Is Done
A Lyme disease test is done to diagnose Lyme disease in people who have symptoms of Lyme disease. Symptoms may include:
- An expanding red rash with a pale centre. This is sometimes called a “bull’s eye” rash.
- Extreme tiredness.
- Headache and stiff neck.
- Muscle and joint pain.
Symptoms of chronic Lyme disease infection include joint pain, stiffness, and problems with the heart, brain, or nerves.
Testing is most accurate when you have risk factors for Lyme disease or symptoms of the disease.
What To Think About
- It may be hard to tell if you have Lyme disease. False-positive and false-negative Lyme disease test results are common. Many people do not make antibodies to Lyme disease bacteria for up to 8 weeks after being infected.
- Doctors often do not rely on test results alone when recommending treatment for a person who may have Lyme disease. Treatment is often based on a person’s symptoms, the time of year, having a tick bite, and other risk factors for Lyme disease.
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What Do The Results Mean
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a two-test process of your sample:
- If your first test result is negative for Lyme disease, you don’t need any more testing.
- If your first result is positive for Lyme disease, your blood will get a second test.
- If both results are positive for Lyme disease and you also have symptoms of infection, you probably have Lyme disease.
Positive results don’t always mean a Lyme disease diagnosis. In some cases, you can have a positive result but not have an infection. Positive results may also mean you have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
If your lumbar puncture results are positive, it may mean you have Lyme disease, but you might need more tests to confirm a diagnosis.
If your health care provider thinks you have Lyme disease, he or she will prescribe antibiotic treatment. Most people who are treated with antibiotics in the early stage of disease will make a complete recovery.
What Do Testing Kits Typically Include
Depending on the method of collection, testing kits may include:
- a device to collect the blood, urine, or saliva sample
- a container to ship the sample back to the lab
- a shipping label
Some kits come with a bandage, wipes, and a biohazard bag. Kits may contain extras such as Styrofoam holders, labels, or tubes with varying solutions inside.
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When Is A Lyme Disease Test Most Accurate
Lyme disease test accuracy depends on the kind of test under consideration. In general, most Lyme disease tests are designed to detect specific antibodies that the body makes in response to a Lyme infection. But it takes several weeks for these antibodies to build up in the bloodstream, and a Lyme disease test will typically be most accurate once these antibodies have developed.
Everlywell Lyme Disease Test
Everlywells Lyme Disease Test checks for a persons exposure to any of the three strains of Borrelia bacteria. The test is suitable for those experiencing fatigue, headaches, or joint pain. The test offers a fingerprick sample collection.
Once people receive their kits, they can register them online, collect their sample, and return it to the labs using the prepaid shipping labels. They can access their results through their online dashboards.
The kit costs $109.
There are some advantages that Everlywell services offer:
- It works with CLIA-certified labs.
- Independent board-certified physicians review and approve peoples tests.
- It offers free shipping.
QuestDirects Lyme Disease Test is available in person. People purchase their test and book an appointment with a nearby Quest Patient Service Center, where a medical professional collects the sample.
They then receive their results through their MyQuest accounts.
The cost for the test is $89, with an additional $6 fee that covers the physicians visit.
Pros and cons
QuestDirect has some advantages. Firstly, the MyQuest portal allows individuals to view their results online. Additionally, the companys health team can contact the customer if their results require prompt attention.
However, disadvantages include the fact that there is an additional physician fee. The service is also unable to provide a receipt for health plan reimbursement.
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Types Of Home Test Kits For Lyme Disease On The Market Today
There are different kind of kits available in the market. Some of them can be used to take a blood sample on your own, while others require a lab visit.
Some kits are more accurate than others and it is always good to perform more than one tests using different kits so there are least chances of an error.
Following are some available test kits with good accuracy.
Which B Burgdorferi Antigens Are Used And How Is The Test Interpreted
The Equine Lyme Multiplex assay is based on three antigens, called outer surface proteins , of B. burgdorferi. Various research studies have shown that Osp antigen expression changes on the bacterial surface in response to tick feeding and again after infection of a warm-blooded host, such as dogs, horses, or humans . In response to infection, horses develop antibodies to these Osp proteins and testing for antibodies to specific Osp antigens can assist in the diagnosis of infection and Lyme disease.
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Cdc Supports The Development Of New Tests
New tests may be developed as alternatives to one or both steps of the two-step process. Before CDC will recommend new tests, they must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration . For more details, see: Recommendations for Test Performance and Interpretation from the Second National Conference on Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease.
Traditional Lyme Disease Tests Are Not Specific Enough
Lyme disease is caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia. There are multiple species and strains of Lyme borreliae . Therefore, tests must be targeted to these multiple species and strains in order to be able to detect them. If a patient is infected with a species or strain of Lyme borreliae that their test cant detect, they will get a false-negative test result and thus risk missing their diagnosis. This can be costly and dangerous.
Many ELISA and Western blot Lyme disease tests are only equipped to detect one strain of one species of Borrelia: Borrelia burgdorferi B31 . This means that those tests are missing infections caused by other strains and/or species of Lyme borreliae.
In one internal study designed to test the validity of the IGeneX ImmunoBlot against traditional Western blot tests, a total of 132 patients were tested by both Lyme Western blots and Lyme IB. 43 patients were seropositive on the ImmunoBlot, and 14 were positive on standard Western blots prepared from a mixture of two species for Bb ss B31 and 297. Thus 29 of the 43 patients tested negative on Western blots i.e., the Western blot totally missed their infections with strains other than Bb ss B31 and 297.
With such limited tests, patients infected with non-B31 species and strains e.g., B. mayonii, B. californiensis, or European species are at risk of receiving false negatives and missing the chance to treat their diseases.
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