Bitten By A Tick In Canada Heres How To Get It Tested For Lyme Diseasefast
This article is sponsored by Geneticks
As an avid outdoorsman, Justin Wood spent his summers tree planting in the northern Ontario wilderness. A lover of the outdoors and science, he moved to Calgary in 2010 for the mountains and to pursue a masters degree in genetics and molecular biology at the University of Calgary. Sports and outdoor adventure were his lifeuntil a bite from a tiny arachnid stole his mobility, cognitive abilities and deteriorated his quality of life.
Beginning with acute neurological issues, Justins symptoms progressed in severity and breadth until he was unable to participate in athletics, academics, work or take care of himself. He experienced extreme constant headaches, brain fog, cognitive impairment, sensitivity to stimulation, insomnia, joint pain, muscle pain, spasms and tremors, heart palpitations and extreme fatigue.
It took over 20 doctors, four years and an international blood test to diagnose the culprit: Lyme disease. Although Lyme disease is the most common tick-born infection in Canada, it is vastly under-detected.
Justin in 2011 before contracting Lyme disease, competing in the 24-hours of Adrenaline race in Canmore, AB
After the Canadian Lyme disease test came back negative, I was tested internationally and it came back positive, Justin explains. I finally had an explanation that made sense.
After treatment for Lyme disease, Justin was able to use his background in biology to found Geneticks
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. PHE 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.
PHE runs a tick surveillance scheme and is happy to receive ticks for species identification and to monitor tick distribution.
What Are The 3 Stages Of Lyme Disease
Although Lyme disease is commonly divided into three stages early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated symptoms can overlap. Some people will also present in a later stage of disease without having symptoms of earlier disease.
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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.
Lyme Disease Laboratory Tests Available At Ripl
The primary service provided by RIPL is serological testing using well-characterised and validated screening and confirmatory tests in accordance with the NICE Lyme disease guideline.
RIPL participates in regular external quality assurance exercises as an independent measure of its performance.
Details of prices and turnaround times for Lyme testing are provided in Appendix 1 of the RIPL user manual.
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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.
How To Tell If A Tick Carries Lyme Disease
How To Know If Its Lyme Disease. Not every tick carries the disease, but there are a few early signs to watch for. If you exhibit any of these, it is important to contact your medical professional immediately and seek treatment. Bullseye rash A rash will appear surrounding the bite area in a near perfect circle.
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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.
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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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Is There A Blood Test For Lyme Disease
If your doctor suspects that you have Lyme disease, they may order two blood tests. These will look for signs that your body is trying to fight it off. The results are most precise a few weeks after youâve been infected.
These tests are:
ELISA test. This test canât check for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It can only look for your immune systemâs response to it.
Once Borrelia burgdorferi gets into your blood, your body begins to make special proteins called antibodies to fight it off. The ELISA test checks for those antibodies.
Although itâs the most common way to check for Lyme disease, the ELISA test isnât perfect. It can sometimes give false âpositiveâ results. On the other hand, if you have it done too soon after youâve been infected, your body may not have developed enough antibodies for the test to detect them. This will give you a ânegativeâ result even though you do have Lyme disease.
Western blot test. Whether your ELISA test comes back positive or negative, your doctor will need to do this blood test, too.
A Western blot uses electricity to split certain proteins in your blood into patterns. This is then compared to the pattern of people known to have Lyme disease.
At least five band matches means that you have Lyme disease. Still, not all labs have the same standards. Thereâs a chance that you could get a âpositiveâ result from one and a ânegativeâ result from another.
- Alzheimerâs disease
What Is The Most Accurate Test For Lyme Disease
These tests are most reliable a few weeks after an infection, after your body has had time to develop antibodies. They include: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. The test used most often to detect Lyme disease, ELISA detects antibodies to B. burgdorferi.
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Information On Submitting Ticks
Whomay submit a tick?
Ticks will be accepted only from residents ofConnecticut. Ticks should be submitted by residents to their municipal healthdepartments. The health departments will then submit ticks to us with a requestfor identification and/or testing for the causative agents for Lyme disease,anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.
Howto locate your local health department or district:
Contact information for your local healthdepartments can be found online at:CT Department ofPublic Health
Howmuch do you charge to test a tick?
Ticktesting is offered by The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station as apublic service and there is no fee for tick identification and/or testing. Municipalities or local health departments/districts may charge a nominalfee for handling and mailing.
Whatinformation should be submitted with the tick?
The CAES Tick Submission Form should be completelyfilled out and packaged along with your tick. Please read the entire formcarefully to ensure you are providing the proper information. Please leave anote if you are submitting more than one tick with a single submission form.
The form can be filled out and printed in your internet browser and isavailable here:
Howshould ticks be prepared for sending?
Preparing the tick:
Preparing the envelope:
Whereshould tick samples be sent?
If you are unable to send the tick through yourlocal health department, please submit samples directly to:
Do all ticks submitted get tested for Lyme disease?
Where Is Lyme Disease Found
In the United States, Lyme disease has been reported in every state, but over 95% of cases are from the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwestern states, with a small number of cases reported along the West Coast, especially Northern California. In Canada, Lyme-positive dogs are found mostly in southern Ontario and southern Manitoba, with a small number of cases in southern Quebec and the Maritime provinces.
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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.
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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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.
What Happens During Lyme Disease Testing
Lyme disease testing is usually done with your blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
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.
If you have symptoms of Lyme disease affecting your nervous system, such as neck stiffness and numbness in hands or feet, you may need a test of cerebrospinal fluid . CSF is a clear liquid found in your brain and spinal cord. During this test, your CSF will be collected through a procedure called a lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap. During the procedure:
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Laboratory Testing Of Ticks For Surveillance
Only ticks that have been requested to be submitted to the lab following photo identification through eTick will be accepted for testing at the lab. This ensures the best use of laboratory services. Most ticks found in Alberta are not the type that can transmit Lyme disease.
Note that Alberta Health Services Environmental Public Health and Indigenous Services Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch offices are not accepting tick submissions.
If you are asked to submit your tick to the Alberta Public Health Laboratory through eTick, complete and print the Tick Testing Request form that must accompany your tick to the lab . Submitting a tick to the lab when requested is optional. By submitting the tick when requested, you are helping Alberta Health to monitor for ticks of public health concern in Alberta.
Members of the public can drop off their completed Tick Testing Request form and tick specimen at a local lab location, or send it by mail.
Collection, shipping instructions, drop off locations and mailing address are provided on the Tick Testing Request form as well as below:
How To Remove A Tick Safely
Although the risk of Lyme disease is very low in Alberta, there are other tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted by ticks.
It is important to properly remove a tick as soon as possible. Removing a tick 24 to 36 hours after a tick bite usually prevents Lyme disease from developing.
If a tick is attached to your skin, you can safely remove it.
- Using tweezers, gently grasp its head and mouth parts as close to your skin as possible to avoid leaving mouthparts in the skin or crushing the tick.
- Without squeezing the tick, slowly pull the tick straight up off the skin do not jerk or twist it.
- Do not apply matches, cigarettes, dish soap, petroleum jelly or any other substance to the tick. This will not encourage the tick to detach and may cause it to release infectious blood back into the wound.
- Once the tick has been removed, clean the bite area with soap and water and disinfect the area with an antiseptic. Wash hands with soap and water.
- Consider submitting a photograph of the tick to the Submit-a-Tick program.
- If you do not plan to submit a photograph of the tick to the Submit-a-Tick program, you can kill the tick by placing it in a freezer for 24 hours, or putting it in rubbing alcohol. Once killed, dispose of it by flushing it down the toilet, or placing it in the garbage. Avoid crushing a tick with your fingers as they may be filled with blood and other infectious material.
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The Blood Tests Can Have False Positives
The blood tests can trigger false positives, suggesting that you have the disease when you really dont. This can happen in up to one out of four tests.
This can lead to unnecessary treatment with antibiotics. These drugs are usually safe, but they sometimes cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. In rare cases, they can even cause dangerous allergic reactions.
Using too many antibiotics can also lead to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. This means that bacteria in your body may get stronger and more difficult to treat with antibiotics in the future.
A false positive can also lead to more unneeded blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and doctor visits.
If you have a false positive, you may not get treated for the real cause of your pain. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes joint pain. It can lead to permanent and severe joint damage if you do not start taking the right medicines as early as possible.
Tick Identification And Testing Locations
The following organizations, listed alphabetically, do offer tick identification and/or testing services for a fee.The listing of these organizations does not constitute an endorsement by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of the organization, or information, products, or services provided, and none should be inferred. This list is provided as a guide to tick identification and/or testing services available for Massachusetts’ residents.This list may not be comprehensive and the contact and price information may change at any time. The information was up-to-date as of Any questions people have about situations that may affect their health should be directed to their health care provider.
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