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
- 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.
Positive 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 borrelia-specific antibodies may persist for several years in patients who have had Lyme disease in the past, long after the bacteria have been cleared from the body. Therefore, detection of borrelia specific antibodies in someone with no evidence of current clinical symptoms or recent tick exposure argues against active Lyme disease infection. 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 UKHSA and analysed for inclusion in UKHSA Health Protection Reports as part of Lyme disease epidemiology and surveillance.
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.
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Borrelia Species Pcr Results
Borrelia species DNA may occasionally be detected in the blood by PCR, but a negative PCR test is of no value in excluding localised Lyme disease.
The overall sensitivity of PCR on a skin biopsy of an EM or ACA rash is around 50% and is limited by the chance of a single biopsy hitting a site with a significant number of organisms.
In neurological Lyme disease involving the CNS, up to 10% of cases may be PCR positive on a CSF sample a negative PCR result does not exclude the diagnosis.
Synovial fluid may be positive by PCR in up to 50% of cases. A negative result does not exclude the diagnosis.
What Happens During Lyme Disease Testing
Lyme disease testing is usually done on a sample of blood. In certain cases, a cerebrospinal fluid test may be done.
For a Lyme disease blood test:A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
For a CSF test:You may need a cerebrospinal fluid test if your symptoms could mean that Lyme disease is affecting your nervous system, such as a stiff neck or numb hands or feet. Providers may order a CSF test if the results of your blood test show you likely have Lyme disease or if the results are uncertain.
To get a sample of your cerebrospinal fluid, a provider will do a procedure called a lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap. During the procedure:
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What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that is spread to humans by tick bites. The ticks that carry the spirochete are:
Black-legged deer tick
Western black-legged tick
Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. Not all ticks carry the Lyme disease bacteria. Depending on the location, anywhere from less than 1% to more than 50% of the ticks are infected with it.
While most tick bites are harmless, several species can cause life-threatening diseases. Tick-borne diseases include:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Protect Yourself From Ticks
While most ticks do not cause serious health problems, it is important to protect yourself, your family and even your pets from tick bites. It is also important to remove attached ticks immediately in order to avoid potential infection or diseases that can be transmitted from the bite. Some tips to prevent tick bites include:
- Walk on cleared trails whenever possible and avoid walking in tall grassy or wooded areas.
- Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up as much skin as possible. For example, a hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants with the legs tucked into socks or boots.
- Use a bug spray that contains the chemical DEET or Icaridin to repel ticks and reapply as frequently as directed.
- Check yourself for ticks after leaving a grassy or wooded area where ticks may live.
- Check your pets for ticks after they have been outside. You cannot get Lyme disease from your pet, but your pet can bring infected ticks inside. These ticks can fall off your pet and attach themselves to you.
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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.
Recognizing The Rash After A Tick Bite
It is important to understand that a rash is not always present or easily recognizable in early Lyme disease, and this can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
Please refer to our poster of varied Lyme disease rash manifestations as a helpful identification tool.
When present, it is wise to take a picture of the rash with the date for your medical record, since a rash compatible with erythema migrans rash should prompt urgent evaluation and treatment. Lyme disease is most successfully treated in this first stage.
If you have a suspicious rash or your symptoms persist, please seek medical care immediately.
The erythema migrans Lyme disease rash is:
- Round or oval, enlarges in size over days/weeks, & will not fade in a few days
- Usually greater than 2 inches in diameter, often 6-8
- Usually uniformly red
- Sometimes but not often, a bulls eye rash with a red ring surrounding a clear area and red center
- Minimally tender, minimally itchy , and sometimes warm
- Often confused with spider bites
The incubation period from tick bite to rash is usually 3-10 days but can be 30 days.
The Lyme rash can spread through the bloodstream to other areas of the skin.
Sometimes blisters develop in the center of the rash.
Tick bite reactions are often confused with the rash of Lyme disease.
Tick bite reactions:
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When A Lyme Diagnosis Is Simple
A person who notices a tick bite and gets a bullseye rash will typically get a Lyme disease diagnosis. Treatment can start right away without any testing.
Another straightforward example would be a person who has spent time outdoors in an area where Lyme disease is common. Lets say that person doesnt have a bullseye rash but has other possible symptoms of Lyme disease. Their doctor does a standard two-step blood test, and both are positive. In this case the person gets a Lyme disease diagnosis and starts treatment.
How It All Works
NEWLY ANNOUNCED:Rush + Urgent testing!Need results sooner than three days? With our new Rush Testing, well have results ready within 24 HOURS of receiving the tick. Need results even sooner? Order our Urgent Testing, and well email and call you with the results within 90 MINUTES of us receiving the tick!
The cost to test up to five nymph stage Blacklegged Deer Ticks for Lyme disease is just $35 per test. One single test can test up to 5 nymph ticks, 3 non-engorged adult ticks, or 1 engorged adult tick. Results of each test are emailed to you and at no time is any personal information shared with anyone. We do however share general statistics of how many ticks have been test, how many were infected, and the city & state where found.
A Note About The Tick You Can Submit: We are now able to test ticks in ANY Condition . Any tick that is sent to us in a state where we cannot visually identify the species will be tested for Lyme in the event that the tick is in fact a Blacklegged Deer tick .
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Should You Get A Test For Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is treated soon after a tick bite, the outlook is great. Most cases of Lyme disease respond to a 2- to 4-week round of antibiotics.
If Lyme disease goes untreated, it can be more difficult to eliminate. For some, it can lead to inflammation of the joints, heart, and nervous system. Progression of the disease, and its severity, can vary from person to person.
Lyme disease is staged in categories: acute, early disseminated, and late disseminated. Later stages of Lyme disease may involve multiple systems in the body.
The most common sign of Lyme disease is an erythema migrans, or bulls-eye rash. The rash often appears after a delay of 3 to 30 days after the tick bite, according to the
Research from 2014 suggests that the bulls-eye rash may last for 3 to 4 weeks. About 80 percent of people with Lyme disease have a single erythema migrans rash. But the bacteria can spread and lead to multiple rashes, indicating disseminated Lyme disease.
While a rash is the most common symptom of Lyme disease, it isnt the only one.
With disseminated Lyme disease, symptoms can also include neurologic conditions, such as cranial nerve palsy and meningitis that mimics aseptic meningitis. Heart inflammation can also be a sign of Lyme disease.
If youre experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, an at-home test may help you identify Lyme disease. With the click of a button, a test can be shipped to your front door.
To select the best tests, we look at studies and user reviews.
Management Of Individuals Without Symptoms Following A Tick Bite
Diagnostic testing is not recommended for individuals who do not develop any symptoms suggestive of Lyme disease after a tick bite.
Some commercial companies offer services to test removed ticks for the presence of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. UKHSA does not provide such tick-testing services. The results of such tests should not be used to inform diagnosis or treatment. A positive result does not mean that the infected tick will have passed on the bacteria there are many factors that determine whether Lyme disease results from the bite of an infected tick. A negative result may not be technically valid and could give false assurance, as it does not exclude the possibility that another tick elsewhere on the body has been missed by the patient.
UKHSA runs a tick surveillance scheme and is happy to receive ticks for species identification and to monitor tick distribution.
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What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:
Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease
Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.
Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.
Where Can I Get A Tick Tested For Lyme Disease
Where can i get a tick tested for lyme diseasePeople can have an impaired immune system from an overactive and underactive immune response. A strong immune system responds appropriately to the challenge a weak immune.
Diagnosing and treating a tick-borne disease can be highly complex. Having a doctor who is trained and experienced in caring for patients with these illnesses can help ensure that you achieve the best possible health outcome. Luckily, there is a growing number of Lyme disease experts who can provide diagnostic testing and proper treatment for Lyme and other tick-borne.
People who have removed a tick sometimes wonder if they should have it tested for evidence of infection. Although some commercial groups offer testing, in general this is not recommended because: Laboratories that conduct tick testing are not required to have the high standards of quality control used by clinical diagnostic laboratories.
If no clinical signs of Lyme disease are observed, different approaches can be tried: A different antibiotic can be used, treatment time can be extended, or the animal is not treated again but its antibody status is monitored every 6-12 months .
Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dogs fur and get on you.
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Testing For Lyme Disease At Home
People can find many at-home Lyme disease tests online.
They typically come with instructions, and most companies require individuals to collect their samples at home and mail it to a lab for testing. The lab then issues the results, and a person can access them via email or through a companys online portal.
People may also be able to speak with a companys medical team to discuss their results and, if applicable, any next steps.
MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria where possible:
- Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in
Testing Ticks For Diseases
Testing ticks for diseases is not recommended because:
- If you have been infected, you may develop symptoms before results are available.
- A tick that tests positive for a tick-borne disease may not have been attached long enough to infect you.
- Even if the tick tests negative, it is possible you were unknowingly bitten by a different tick that might have infected you.
If you think you were bitten by a tick or are experiencing symptoms, contact your doctor.
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Negative Elisa On Serum
Early clinical Lyme disease in the form of erythema migrans with an 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 to 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.
In What Habitats Are Deer Ticks And Dog Ticks Typically Found
- Deer ticks are usually found in wooded areas and along the forest edge. Deer ticks like areas with leaf litter and low vegetation. They tend to stay low to the ground so they can find a host, since they do not jump, fly, or drop from trees.
- Dog ticks are usually found in wooded areas, in open fields with long grasses, and in brush.,
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Which Ticks Should I Worry About
Nymphal ticks cause most cases of Lyme disease. Because nymphs are as small as poppy seeds and their bite is painless, people often dont realize they have been bitten. Adult ticks can also infect humans, but are easier to spot and remove.
Not all ticks are infected. Because tick studies have only been done in a relatively few places, in most of the US, tick infection rates are unknown. Even in places where ticks generally do not carry Lyme, there may be hotspots of infection depending on local conditions. The tick infection rate may also change from year to year, even in one location.
To get a better idea of which tick-borne diseases have been found in your area, check this site.