Friday, May 24, 2024

Getting Ticks Tested For Lyme Disease

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Sample Types For Lyme Disease Testing

Officials harvest ticks, test for Lyme disease in Sacramento area

For routine Lyme disease serological testing, you must send a serum sample .

For testing for neurological Lyme disease, you must send paired CSF and serum samples taken on the same day. If possible, please provide CSF cell count and total albumin, IgG and IgM values. If albumin, IgG and IgM measurements are not available, RIPL will make arrangements for these measurements at additional cost.

PCR testing is available. We recommend that specialists call RIPL to discuss appropriate sample types for PCR. These may include joint fluid, biopsy tissue, CSF and EDTA plasma. Please submit biopsies as fresh tissue in a sterile container, ideally with a drop of sterile saline to prevent the tissue drying out.

Can Lyme Disease In Dogs Affect Humans

Its unfortunate that bacterial infection brought by Lyme disease could be transmitted to humans. This is otherwise known as Lyme borreliosis.

There are a lot of people who show early symptoms of the infection with the most common being rash around the ticks bite.

As per accounts of previously affected individuals, the rash developed in a span of 3 to 30 days after being bitten. Its comparable to a target on a dartboard with the edges seem a bit raised. Usually, the diameter of the rash bite is roughly 15cm or 6 inches but could be smaller or bigger.

Best For Lower Budgets: Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test

The Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test is a DNA tick test that checks whether the tick carries a Lyme disease pathogen.

The test requires a person to take one to several ticks from the same host and place them in the specimen bag. They then mail them to the lab using the pre-addressed mailing label.

Individuals can expect to receive their results through email, phone, or mail within 3 business days. The available screenings feature basic, advanced, and comprehensive test panels that check multiple pathogens.

Pros and cons

This table lists the tests advantages and disadvantages based on customer reviews:


CDC , people should perform two tests for Lyme disease, and they can use the same blood sample.

If they receive a negative result, they do not need to perform another test. However, if their first test is positive or indeterminate, it is best to test again.

The CDC states the overall result is only positive for Lyme disease when the first and second tests produce a positive result.

Tests detect IgM and IgG antibodies that the body produces in response to an infection. The IgM antibodies appear early in response to the exposure, while the IgG antibodies appear 46 weeks after the infection and can persist for years.

However, individuals may develop antibodies several weeks after exposure. Therefore, those who test before the antibodies develop can get a false-negative result.

False positives can occur if a person has other conditions, including

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Does Immediate Treatment After Bite Negate Lyme Disease

Sadly, immediate treatment doesnt negate Lyme disease. The treatment must not be solely based on the tick bite. Perhaps, you may think that ticks are the main source of Lyme disease. Actually, they are not. Truth is, the infection rate of ticks would vary as well on their location.

Say that the tick was infected, then it is essential to perform treatment right away. Though the tick should feed for a minimum of 1 day on its host for it to successfully transmit the Borrelia burgdorferi virus.

But if antibody levels are present, then the treatment can be performed almost immediately. In this stage, the treatment works effectively in negating Lyme disease in dogs.

Serological Testing Of Serum For The Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease

Pin on Dog Flea and Tick Control

The most commonly used tests look for antibodies to the Borrelia species that cause Lyme disease in the UK and Europe, but they also detect infections from strains of Borrelia from the US.

The antibody response takes several weeks to reach a detectable level, so antibody tests in the first few weeks of infection may be negative. If the first sample was taken within 4 weeks from the onset of symptoms and is negative and there is a clinical suspicion of Lyme disease, then retesting in 4 to 6 weeks may be useful.

It is very rare for patients to have negative antibody tests in longstanding infections. Borrelia antibodies persist indefinitely in some patients and this does not indicate continuing disease or a need for re-treatment.

Serological testing for Lyme disease in the UK and much of the world follows a two-step approach:

  • The first stage of testing uses a sensitive screening ELISA test. Since 17 Dec 2020, RIPL has used the Borrelia VlsE1/pepC10 IgG/IgMELISA Test System . This replaced the C6 Lyme ELISA which was withdrawn from the market for commercial reasons.
  • Sensitive tests have the disadvantage of occasionally detecting other diseases and producing false positive results, so a second more specific confirmatory test is run on all samples giving a positive or indeterminate preliminary screening test result. RIPL uses the Borrelia ViraChip® IgG, IgM test to confirm the presence of Borrelia-specific antibodies .
  • Recommended Reading: Doxycycline For Lyme Disease Side Effects

    Is It Possible To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs

    Fortunately, Lyme disease in dogs are preventable. Assuming that you invest in tick preventive products. Though you must know that dogs are vulnerable to tickborne diseases and tick bites. Hence, the use of tick preventive products.

    Ticks are very small. Thus, making their bites almost undetectable. Add the fact that the signs of tickborne disease have a delay rate of 1 to 3 weeks. Therefore, you must be monitoring your dog closely if they show any changes in appetite or behavior, especially if you have a gut feeling that theyve been bitten by a tick.

    Luckily, there are other ways to protect your dog from tick bites as well as tickborne diseases aside from tick preventive products like:

    • Steering clear of grassy or wooded areas
    • Sticking to trails when outdoors
    • Perform tick checks daily
    • Discuss Lyme vaccine with your vet

    Best For A Quick Turnaround: Letsgetchecked Lyme Infection Test

    LetsGetCheckeds kit tests for Borellia IgG and IgM antibodies through a fingerprick collection. The website states people should receive the test 57 days after ordering.

    The company requires individuals to activate the kit, so they can collect the sample and send it back using the prepaid shipping label. They can then access their results on their online account within 25 days.

    In addition, LetsGetCheckeds laboratories have a certification, meaning it is compliant with federal certifications.

    Pros and cons

    The LetsGetChecked Lyme Infection Test features the following advantages and disadvantages:

    the company health team will contact individuals directly if results require prompt attention no receipt for health plan reimbursement

    The cost for the test is $89, with an additional $6 fee that covers the physicians visit.

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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.

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    How Do Dogs Get Ticks

    5 Tips to Prevent Tick Bites and Getting Lyme Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine

    Ticks are sensitive creatures. They sense the carbon dioxide exhaled by your dog and the heat it emanates. This would alert them that there is a host nearby.

    Perhaps, you and your Border Collie or whatever breed you have loved the outdoors. Indeed, this is a wonderful experience to bond together. Unfortunately, this experience also makes you two more prone to getting ticks. This is why it is important to be extra careful before going out.

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    What Abnormal Results Mean

    A positive ELISA result is abnormal. This means antibodies were seen in your blood sample. But, this does not confirm a diagnosis of Lyme disease. A positive ELISA result must be followed up with a Western blot test. Only a positive Western blot test can confirm the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

    For many people, the ELISA test remains positive, even after they have been treated for Lyme disease and no longer have symptoms.

    A positive ELISA test may also occur with certain diseases not related to Lyme disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    How Often After Treatment Should Dog Be Retested

    Preferably, a retest is performed after 6 months from the C6 antibody test. There are various treatments available for dogs with Lyme disease. There are dogs that are asymptomatic and might not show biological or hematologic changes. While they seem fine on the outside, they must still be monitored closely for the development of clinical signs or proteinuria.

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    How Do I Get A Tick Tested For Lyme Disease

    How do i get a tick tested for lyme diseaseIt can be frustrating, not knowing whether to get a dog tested or treated for Lyme disease after a tick bite. But, rest assured that a lot has to go wrong before the dog develops an active Lyme infection, and you can always call your vets office to discuss the next steps.

    Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Dont twist or jerk the tick this can cause the.

    Remove The Tick Ticks can be alive or dead for testing. Enclose The Tick Place tick in a small Zip-Lock bag by itself. Fill Out The Form Fill out the online Tick Test Order Form. Mail The Tick Mail.

    Lyme Disease Treatment Options

    » Lyme Awareness

    Early detection and treatment of Lyme are crucial. Most Lyme disease infections clear up with the help of a course of antibiotics you can take at home.

    In some cases, however, people who are treated with antibiotics may continue to experience symptoms. When this happens, its called chronic Lyme disease or post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Doctors may treat chronic Lyme disease with a continued course of antibiotics, but the treatment often also involves managing symptoms like pain and inflammation.

    If youre experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease and think you may have been bitten by a tick and were in an area where it is common, seek medical care as soon as possible. If certain symptoms and risk factors are present, doctors will typically treat for Lyme disease without waiting for a test result.

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    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.

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    How To Get A Tick Tested

    Ticks can be tested dead or alive . If you have removed a tick and want to have it tested, you have two options:

    • Store it on a damp paper towel or cotton swab in a sealed plastic vial or ziploc bag.
    • Securely attach the tick with tape to a piece of paper.

    If the tick is already dead, there is no need to keep it moist. DO NOT store the tick in alcohol as it may compromise the test results.

    You may choose to save the tick for testing should you begin to experience symptoms, rather than have it tested immediately.

    DO note the date and location of the tick bite. If possible you should record:

    • Location where tick attached
    • Location on body where tick was removed
    • Any other details about physical symptoms or location where tick was encountered

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    Lyme Disease Test Western Blot

    Labs performing a Western blot use electricity to separate proteins called antigens into bands. The read-out from the Western blot looks like a bar code. The lab compares the pattern produced by running the test with your blood to a template pattern representing known cases of Lyme disease. If your blot has bands in the right places, and the right number of bands, it is positive.

    The CDC requires 5 out of 10 bands for a positive test result. However, because some bands on the Western blot are more significant than others your doctor may decide you have Lyme disease even if your Western blot does not have the number of bands or specific bands recommended by the CDC. Different laboratories use different methods and criteria for interpreting the test, so you can have a positive test result from one lab and a negative test result from another.

    For a comprehensive explanation of the western blot test, download Understanding Western Blot Lyme disease test.

    The chart below will help you understand how to interpret the western blot test.

    Completion Of Lyme Disease Test Request Form

    IGeneX testing for Lyme Disease and other Tick-Borne Diseases

    Diagnostic samples must be submitted with a completed RIPLLyme disease test request form . Please use a single request form for each patient even when sending several samples.

    Please provide details of the sample type, patients symptoms and onset date, tick bite or exposure history and, if relevant, travel and treatment history. Symptom onset date is particularly important for interpretation of laboratory results.

    When sending CSF, please provide the cell count and total albumin, IgG and IgM levels for the CSF and serum pair, if available.

    Ideally the clinician who sees the patient should print out and complete the appropriate request form . Send the request to the local laboratory with the clinical sample along with a local laboratory request form, whether this is paper or electronic.

    The local laboratory should complete the senders information on the request form and then forward the completed form and sample to RIPL. Before sending samples, clinicians are advised to liaise with their local laboratory because local arrangements may vary.

    If only immunoblot confirmation is required because the local laboratory has already obtained a positive Lyme screening test result on the serum sample being submitted, tick the Line blot confirmation only box and write the positive screening test result below.

    Recommended Reading: How To Test A Tick For Lyme

    The Role Of Lyme Disease Tests

    The purpose of the most common type of Lyme disease testing is to determine whether you have developed antibodies as a result of past exposure to the Borrelia bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Antibodies are proteins created by the immune system that target specific threats like bacteria and viruses.

    Blood testing alone cannot determine whether you have Lyme disease. Instead, testing can provide helpful information that your doctor can consider along with other factors, such as any symptoms youve had and whether youve been exposed to ticks that can carry Borrelia, to determine if a diagnosis of Lyme disease is appropriate.

    Beyond blood testing, it is possible to analyze fluid from the central nervous system for signs of the Borrelia bacteria.

    Who Should Get Testing

    Testing is usually indicated if a person has symptoms of Lyme disease and a known or possible exposure to ticks that can carry the Borrelia bacteria. However, because it takes time for antibodies to develop, the timing of testing is important to consider.

    Lyme disease symptoms depend on the extent of the bacterial infection. Three phases are used to describe the infection:

  • Early localized: In this initial phase, symptoms are normally found only near the tick bite. This early stage is called erythema migrans and involves a noticeable rash that typically develops within a few weeks after being bitten.
  • Early disseminated: In this phase, the bacteria move through the blood to affect other parts of the body and can cause general symptoms like fever, headaches, and pain. In some cases, the bacteria can affect the heart or nervous system.
  • Late disease: This phase occurs long after the initial tick bite and most often includes symptoms affecting the joints or nervous system.
  • It is important to understand these phases because testing is not equally valuable in each stage. With early localized disease and erythema migrans, blood testing is generally not helpful because antibodies have not had enough time to develop.

    Because of similar concerns about potential false positive results, random screening for Lyme disease in people without symptoms is not recommended even in areas that are known to have ticks that can carry the Borrelia bacteria.

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    What Testing Do We Offer

    We offer three options for having your ticks tested. For each of these options, we will first identify the submitted tick, and ensure the testing is appropriate for that species. The three options are:

    • Cost: $50.00 CAD
    • Description: Ticks will be tested for the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and tick-borne relapsing fever. These bacteria include:
    • General Borrelia
    • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto or Borrelia lonestari
    • Borrelia miyamotoi .
    • Common Infections
    • Cost: $150.00 CAD
    • Description: Ticks will be tested for the seven most common tick-borne pathogens found in their species.
    • For black-legged ticks, these pathogens include:
    • General Borrelia
    • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto
    • Borrelia miyamotoi
    • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
    • Babesia microti
  • For all other tick species, these pathogens include:
  • General Borrelia
  • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto or Borrelia lonestari
  • Ehrlichia chaffeensis
  • Rickettsia rickettsii
    • Cost: $300.00 CAD
    • Description: Ticks will be tested for all the currently detectable pathogens at Geneticks. These pathogens include:
    • General Borrelia
    • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto or Borrelia lonestari
    • Borrelia miyamotoi
    • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
    • Babesia microti
    • Francisella tularensis
    • Rickettsia rickettsii
    **Expedited testing ensures that your tick testing results are returned to you within 48 hours of receiving your tick at our laboratory. This 48 hour period applies to business days only.

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