So When Do You Need Blood Tests For Lyme Disease
In some cases, you can have Lyme disease without the rash. Or you may not see the rash before it goes away on its own.
In these cases, your doctor should ask you about your medical history and do a thorough physical exam. Your doctor should look for these signs that you might have Lyme disease:
- You were in an area with ticks and Lyme disease.
- You also have fever or redness, warmth, and swelling in one or a few joints at a time usually the knees, shoulders, or wrists.
Other symptoms can occur later on. Talk to your doctor about testing and treatment choices.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
Tick Testing Organizationswhere To Get The Tick Tested
There are many places to get a tick tested. You may go through your health provider or you may choose an independent laboratory. In addition, many state and local health departments offer tick testing. Depending on where testing is done, these tick tests may check for other tick-borne diseases besides Lyme.
The following is a partial list of independent laboratories that do tick testing. Most offer mail-based service if you are not local. Please contact the Labs directly for more information.
What Do The Test Results Mean
Because there are three tests that are typically conducted for the Lyme disease blood test, then results can vary based on the combination of test results received. When all three tests are positive, then Lyme disease is likely. These other result combinations are usually interpreted in the following ways.
Positive IgM, Negative IgG, Negative Western Blot.This usually indicates that the Lyme disease infection is in its early stages or that the blood test has produced a false positive result.
Negative IgM, Positive IgG, Positive Western Blot.This is usually interpreted as having a late-stage Lyme disease infection. It may also be an indication that someone had a previous infection that has been removed from the body.
All results negative.This is usually interpreted as there not being any infection present and that the symptoms are being caused by another issue. In some specific instances, however, it can also be seen as the antibody levels being too low to detect.
Once Lyme disease is confirmed, there will almost always be detectable levels of the bacteria which causes the disease in the IgG antibodies in their blood. This will mean that their IgG blood test results will have a standard deviation in what is considered as normal because of the presence of the disease, even if it has been effectively cured.
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Is Treatment 100% Effective
Scientists are divided on this topic. Some studies suggest that that even long-term antibiotics may not completely clear infection dogs may get sick again at some point after antibiotic treatment is stopped. Other studies suggest that complete clearance of infection is possible with antibiotic treatment. Further research is required to answer this question.
Negative C6 Elisa On Serum
Early clinical Lyme disease in the form of erythema migrans with associated history of a tick bite should be treated empirically. There is no need for testing unless there are further symptoms.
A negative ELISA result in the early stages of Lyme disease does not exclude infection. If acute Lyme disease is suspected but serology results are negative, we recommend that the test is repeated in 4-6 weeks with a fresh sample to look for seroconversion.
In patients with long term symptoms a negative ELISA test usually excludes Lyme disease as a cause of these symptoms. Information on differential diagnosis for patients with persistent symptoms and negative Lyme disease serology results is available.
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Future Possibilities For Diagnostic Tools
NIAID-supported scientists have identified genome sequences for multiple strains of B. burgdorferi. Greater advances in diagnostics are anticipated as genetic information is combined with advances in microarray technology, imaging, and proteomics. These growing fields of science are expected to lead to improved diagnostic tools as well as provide new insights on the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Examples of tools being developed with NIAID support include use of metabolomics to characterize new biomarkers of infection, next generation T-cell based measurements, and novel antigens for improved measurement of effective treatment.
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To Halt The Spread Of Lyme Nantucket Residents Consider Genetically Engineered Mice
Her ordeal is a common one every year, some 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Lyme disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that number is on the rise. Some people wait months or years to get a correct Lyme diagnosis. And their cases highlight a problem: Tests for Lyme in the first month of infection are frequently wrong. When diagnosed and treated early the infection is a simple one to get rid of, but left untreated it can cause a myriad of lingering symptoms, from severe arthritis to short-term memory problems.
Now, a number of research groups are working to improve Lyme tests to catch infections in the early stages. One avenue being studied by the CDC aims to create a Lyme signature of small molecules in the blood an approach that, in early testing, catches a dramatically higher share of early infections.
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Key Points To Remember
- Most Lyme disease tests are designed to detect antibodies made by the body in response to infection.
- Antibodies can take several weeks to develop, so patients may test negative if infected only recently.
- Antibodies normally persist in the blood for months or even years after the infection is gone therefore, the test cannot be used to determine cure.
- Infection with other diseases, including some tickborne diseases, or some viral, bacterial, or autoimmune diseases, can result in false positive test results.
- Some tests give results for two types of antibody, IgM and IgG. Positive IgM results should be disregarded if the patient has been ill for more than 30 days.
Tick Identification & Testing
Tick identification and testing: Bring the tick to the San Mateo County Public Health Laboratory , located at 225 West 37th Avenue , San Mateo. To contact the laboratory, please call 573-2500. There is a $25 processing fee.
Tick identification only: San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District , located at 1351 Rollins Rd, Burlingame also performs tick identification butdoes not perform testing related to bites. To contact SMCMCD, call 344-8592. There is no fee for tick identification. Please contact the Public Health Lab for all tick testing requests.
When dropping off a tick specimen, please provide us with contact information, location of tick bite, and duration of tick contact. Your tick must first be identified to determine if it is the Western Black-legged Tick, the species that transmits Lyme Disease. If so, the next step will be to test for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the micro-organism that causes Lyme Disease, in the ticks stomach. The tick must be intact in order for this test to be performed.
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If You Find A Tick Along For The Ride Heres What You Need To Do
Use thin tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull the tick straight upward with steady even pressure to remove the tick with the mouthparts intact. Squeezing the tick will not increase the risk of infection. Adult ticks are a lot more difficult to remove intact. If the mouthparts break off, the chance of getting Lyme disease is the same as if you hadnt removed the tick at all. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. Watch for signs and symptoms of Lyme disease for up to 30 days.
See your doctor within 72 hours of the tick removal and if the tick removed was swollen. You may benefit from preventive antibiotics. This is especially important if you live in an area where deer ticks are common.
How To Mail Your Tick:
We test Blacklegged Deer and Western Deer ticks in all sorts of conditions both nymphs and adults. Simply place your order and follow the instructions that will be emailed to you upon successful placement of the order.
Simply place the tick in a tightly sealed Zip-Lock bag with the order number written on the bag with permanent marker, then mail it to us here in Loudoun County, Virginia!Additional information on exactly how and where to mail the ticks to, will be emailed to you once you have placed your order.
IMPORTANT! Since COVID-19, we have been working with a very limited staff and on average receive anywhere between 20 to 50 or more ticks daily. Any ticks that we receive that do NOT have an Order Number on it will be Discarded or returned to sender.
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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.
Positive C6 Elisa On Serum
RIPL will automatically proceed to do IgM and IgG immunoblot tests after a positive or indeterminate ELISA test and will provide an overall interpretation of the ELISA and immunoblot in the light of the clinical details provided on the request form.
Please provide clinical details to allow the interpretation of serological results. These are needed for interpretation because antibody levels from a protective humoral immune response to Borrelia species may persist indefinitely in patients who have had Lyme disease in the past. After successful treatment of Lyme disease antibody concentrations may slowly fall over time.
Borrelia species are notifiable organisms. The numbers of positive results from laboratory confirmed cases in RIPL are reported to PHE and analysed for inclusion in PHE Health Protection Reports as part of Lyme disease epidemiology and surveillance.
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Lyme Disease Diagnosis And Laboratory Testing
Lyme disease is diagnosed based on the presence of symptoms, a physical exam, the possibility of exposure to infected ticks and, if necessary, laboratory testing. If your health care provider suspects Lyme disease, you may be asked to provide a blood sample for testing.
Public health and laboratory experts in Canada, the United States and worldwide support the 2-step testing used in Alberta as the best laboratory method for supporting the diagnosis of Lyme disease. These high standards help protect individuals from misleading false-positive results and unnecessary treatments.
In Alberta, laboratory testing for the first step is done by the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health. The second verification step is done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to reduce the chances of false-positive results.
The Alberta government advises against the use of laboratory testing offered by some private laboratories outside of Canada. Some of these laboratories use non-standardized testing methods. These methods may report a higher number of false-positive results.
False positives can result in misdiagnosis that can lead to a delay in finding the actual cause of an individuals illness, as well as unnecessary, expensive and sometimes harmful treatments.
A 2014 study found that one alternate United States laboratory had incorrectly diagnosed Lyme disease in up to 57% of healthy people who did not have Lyme disease.
How Do You Test Tick For Lyme Disease
TickCheck can determine with 99.99% accuracy if the tick that bit you carries Lyme or 9 additional tick-borne diseases. Heres how it works: Order a tick test on TickCheck.com. Send your tick directly to our lab no waiting for a kit! Get your tick test results within 24-48 hours of lab receipt.
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How To Avoid Getting A Tick Bite
You might be at risk if you live, work in, or visit a wooded area, or an area with tall grasses and bushes .
You may also be at risk if you are involved in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and gardening.
You may be bitten by a tick and not even know it.
Heres what you can do to avoid getting a tick bite.
Do All Ticks Carry Lyme Disease
Most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease. Not all ticks are infected, and the risk for contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body. Within one to four weeks of being bitten by an infected tick, most people will experience some symptoms of Lyme disease.
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Can Infection Be Spread Directly From One Dog To Another Dog Or From My Dog To My Family
Direct spread of Lyme disease from one dog to another dog has not been reported, even when infected and uninfected dogs have lived together for long periods.
Spread of Lyme disease from dogs to people has not been reported either, but people are equally at risk for Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected tick.
How To Remove A Tick And Get It Tested For Lyme Disease
For people who find a tick embedded in their skin
Uh oh, I thought as I discovered a small embedded tick on my daughters head. My second thought was, Did it just give her Lyme disease? Here is what you can do when you find an attached tick.
How long does it take for a tick to transmit Lyme disease to a person?Deer tick nymphs can be as small as a poppy seed or a little larger than the size of this period .. The adults can be about the size of a sunflower seed or about the size of the letter o. The tick on my daughter was an adult deer tick.
Some experts say that it needs to be attached 24 hours or longer to transmit the bacteria. Others say that you can get infected as soon as the tick bites you. The truth is that no one knows for sure how long a tick has to be attached to infect you. Also, only 50% of people who get infected ever develop a bulls eye rash. My daughter had a raised bump where the tick was attached and did not develop a rash. The first thing we did was to get the tick out.
Recommendations for removing embedded ticksUsing a pair of pointed tweezers, gently grasp the tick where it is connected to the skin. Gently and slowly pull the tick out of the skin using firm and steady pressure.
DOs and DONTs for removing ticksAVOID squeezing the tick too hard.DO NOT place vaseline on the tick.DO NOT place a burned match head on the tick.DO NOT put alcohol on the tick.
DO NOT place anything on the tick:
DO NOT place the tick on tape to immobilize it.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
The traditional blood tests for diagnosing Lyme disease have been replaced by two new tests called the C6 test and Quantitative C6 test .
The C6 test is a preliminary blood test that detects antibodies against a very specific protein called C6. This protein is unique to the Borrelia bacteria, and the presence of antibodies to C6 suggests exposure to Borrelia and infection. The C6 antibodies can be detected as soon as four weeks after a dog is bitten by an infected tick, and may be found in the blood stream even before the dog shows signs of illness. The C6 test is often offered as part of a special test kit that looks for other tick-borne diseases. The test can be done by your veterinarian in-clinic or the blood sample can be sent to an outside laboratory for testing.
Lyme Disease & Tick Testing
The incidence of Lyme Disease in San Mateo County is very low.
There were 24 reported cases from 1991 to 1999, ranging from 1 to 4 cases each year. Compare this number to over 9,000 to 16,000 nationwide cases reported each year during the same time period.
The microorganism that causes Lyme Disease is not common among ticks in San Mateo County. Young ticks, or nymphs, are more likely than adults to be infected the nymphs often clear the infection by the time they reach adulthood.
The San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District conducts annual tick collection and testing at popular hiking trails throughout the County. Expectations are that tick infection rates will be anywhere from 1-5 % of all ticks.
Even if you are bitten by an infected tick, its difficult to get Lyme Disease. The tick must be feeding on you for 24 to 48 hours to effectively transfer the microorganism from its stomach to your body.
If you find a tick attached to you or your pet, dont panic. Carefully remove and save the tick! For $25 the County Public Health Lab will test your tick to see if its a Lyme Disease Carrier.
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