Saturday, August 20, 2022

How To Get A Tick Tested For Lyme Disease

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Persistent Lyme Disease Symptoms Arent Helped By Long

Get ticks tested for Lyme disease (lyme deer tick)

Microbiologist Elli Theel, who directs the Infectious Diseases Serology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, calls the 2015 study incredibly promising. The sensitivity they showed just in early Lyme disease patients was very high, the highest Ive actually seen, she said.

In an upcoming publication, the researchers also showed that metabolomics can differentiate Lyme from a similar tick-borne disease called southern tick-associated rash illness . The disease causes similar symptoms as Lyme, including a bullseye rash, and occurs in overlapping geographic regions. Currently there is no laboratory test to diagnose STARI, and little is known about how the disease progresses and how to treat it, something Molins hopes will change with better testing.

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.

Submitting Ticks To A Provincial Public Health Laboratory

If possible, send any ticks that you have removed to a public health laboratory in your area. However, tick identification and testing is not done in all provinces of Canada.The following provinces accept submissions:

Contact your local public health authority for details on:

  • the tick identification and testing program available in your area
  • how to submit a tick for testing

The public health laboratory will:

Read Also: What Percentage Of Ticks Carry Lyme Disease

How To Remove A Tick

  • 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 mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by
  • Putting it in alcohol,
  • Placing it in a sealed bag/container,
  • Wrapping it tightly in tape, or
  • Flushing it down the toilet.
  • Some Advice On Treatments

    How To Avoid Ticks  And What To Do If You Get Bitten : Shots

    Lyme disease can be treated with a two-week to four-week course of antibiotics.

    However, some people will experience symptoms such as fatigue, pain, or cognitive difficulties for more than 6 months after treatment. This is known as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.

    Evidence for the use of antibiotics for chronic, persistent symptoms following the initial infection is inconclusive and Khan cautions against this approach to treating long-term issues.

    While many non-specific chronic symptoms are attributed to Lyme disease due to likely false-positive serologic testing, there is no evidence that long-term treatment with antibiotics has any impact on these chronic symptoms, so be wary of any doctor offering cash-only long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease, Kahn said.

    I see many patients that have paid unscrupulous doctors in cash for these dubious Lyme disease treatments, and in most cases, their symptoms are due to something other than Lyme disease, he warned.

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    Lyme Disease In Europe And Asia

    Lyme disease can also occur in Europe and Asia, where Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii are most commonly found.

    Ticks infected with a Lyme disease bacterium can be found in woodlands across the European continent from northern Turkey to northern Sweden. However, Lyme disease is considered endemic in central Europe, where the following countries have the highest tick infection rates: Austria, Czech Republic, southern Germany,Switzerland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In Europe, Lyme disease is primarily transmitted by the castor bean tick.

    Lyme disease has been reported throughout Asia, as well, such as in Russia, Mongolia, northern China, Japan, and Koreaâ âthough infection from a Lyme disease bacterium appears to be relatively uncommon in these areas. In Asia, Lyme disease is transmitted by the taiga tick .

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    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.

    TickReport

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    If you have developed symptoms after being bitten by a tick or spending time outdoors, immediately contact your GP or call NHS 111, mentioning where you have been and if you remember being bitten.

    A very small number of people treated for early Lyme disease can develop more severe symptoms months or years later, however, this is usually if the treatment they receive is delayed or not completed

    If you are exposed to Lyme disease, itâs recommended that you speak to your doctor if symptoms return or donât improve.

    If you have developed symptoms after being bitten by a tick or spending time outdoors, immediately contact your GP or call NHS 111, mentioning where you have been and if you remember being bitten.

    Lyme Disease Is On The Rise An Expert Explains Why

    Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test Kit DIY Home Testing | Weekend Handyman

    May marks the beginning of the summer season when black-legged ticks that spread Lyme disease are more prevalent even in California.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that cases of tickborne diseases had more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, from 22,000 to 48,000, and that Lyme disease accounted for 82 percent of tickborne diseases.

    Moreover, due to underreporting, the actual number of Lyme disease cases is estimated to be significantly higher likely more than 350,000 in 2016.

    We talked to infectious disease expert Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, about the rise in Lyme disease cases, better diagnostic tests on the horizon and what you need to know to protect yourself from infection. Chiu is an associate professor of laboratory medicine and medicine and director of the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center.How common is Lyme disease in California? And why have rates been increasing?

    In terms of reported cases, there are about 80 to 100 a year in the state. Residents in or travelers to the northwestern coastal counties Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino are at highest risk. But because of underreporting, the actual number of Lyme disease cases likely exceeds 1,000 cases a year, simply because most cases of Lyme disease are not reported.

    How is Lyme disease transmitted, and is it contagious between humans?

    Compared to other infections, is Lyme disease more difficult to detect and diagnose?

    Borrelia burgdorferi,

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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.

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    What Is Lyme Disease And How Do You Treat It

    Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi which is spread to people through the bite of infected black-legged ticks, also popularly known as deer ticks. Early symptoms include a typical enlarging red rash at the site of the tick bite. This is common, but not everyone with Lyme disease gets this rash. Other signs of Lyme include flu-like symptoms . If left untreated, over time the infection can lead to Bells palsy , meningitis , heart rhythm problems, and joint pain and swelling. Additional symptoms can include headaches and stiff neck, tingling and numbness , and rarely, inflammation of the eyes.

    The diagnosis is usually based on a persons symptoms, the presence of the typical rash, and a history of likely exposure to infected ticks. Lab tests for Lyme disease do not turn positive until three to four weeks after the infection. Usually doctors do not wait for the results of these tests during the early stage of the disease, to begin treatment.

    Once diagnosed, Lyme disease can be successfully treated with a few weeks of oral antibiotics. Doxycycline is the antibiotic prescribed to all but pregnant women and children, who usually get the antibiotics amoxicillin or cefuroxime. For people with severe heart or neurological symptoms of Lyme, intravenous antibiotics are usually necessary.

    Recommended Reading: What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In A Person

    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.

    Heres What You Can Do To Keep From Getting Lyme Disease

    Don

    As always, prevention is superior to cure. Right now, there is no Lyme vaccine available for people. There is a Lyme vaccine available for dogs! However, it does not protect against other tick-borne diseases, hence preventive measures against ticks are still necessary. Most dogs exposed to Lyme disease do not have symptoms. Some develop fever, lack of appetite, lameness, and joint swelling. Therefore, staying safe requires preparation and vigilance. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease are tiny, and you cant feel it when a tick attaches to you. They may even make their way into your home by attaching themselves to pets. Here are some steps to follow to remain safe.

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    Submission And Collection Notes

    There is no kit available for tick identification. Submit the tick specimen in a sterile, leak proof, polypropylene container. Do not use bags or envelopes.

    Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

    • Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
    • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

    PHO laboratory does not perform tick identification from ticks collected from non-human sources.

    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
    • instructions
    • 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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    You Can Protect Yourself Against Ticks

    Know where the critters camp out. Ticks often reside on the foliage that borders meadows. Deer like to graze in the open grassy areas, says Dr. Krause, but also linger in the surrounding wooded outskirts so they can run away if a predator suddenly appears. As for the ticks? Theyre just following the deer. When youre in tick territory, tuck your jeans into your boots or socks, slap on an insecticide , or wear clothing thats been treated with permethrin, an insect repellant. The CDC recommends people use an insect repellant that contains at least 20% DEET. You can treat your clothing with a product like Cutters Backwoods Insect Repellent Pump or find insect-repellent clothing from manufacturers like LL Bean or Rei.

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    Do I Need To See An Infectious Disease Specialist To Get Tested For Lyme Disease

    Officials harvest ticks, test for Lyme disease in Sacramento area

    No, you do not need to see an infectious disease specialist.

    As noted above, any type of physician should be able to order the correct diagnostic tests, interpret your test results, and provide antibiotics to treat Lyme disease. This is especially true the earlier the disease is caught.

    In fact, American Lyme Disease Foundation points out that waiting for an appointment with an infectious disease or other type of specialist can actually delay your diagnosis and treatment. If you were bitten by a tick, notice symptoms of Lyme disease, or believe youre at risk for Lyme or another tick-borne disease, its important that you make an appointment with a doctor immediately even if its your primary care physician.

    That said, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to consult with, or get a second opinion from, someone with specific experience with Lyme disease. In other words, you may want to make an appointment with a Lyme-literate doctor . Read on to learn more.

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    Not All Ticks Are The Same

    Different species of ticks carry different types of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. However, new tick-borne infections are emerging as tick habitats change over time. For example, the deer tick is now reported in 50% of US counties by the CDC. The Lone Star tick is also on the move and expanding into the Northeastern states.TICKNOLOGY has one comprehensive tick testing panel for all ticks that threaten US residents.

    Why Lyme Disease May Be On The Rise

    Experts say the rates of infection with Lyme disease are increasing and this may be due to a number of factors.

    Lyme disease does seem to be increasing in prevalence, for several reasons, Hawkinson said. First, we just have a growing population. We also have more people doing more activities outside, doctors more willing to test for Lyme disease, longer warmer temperatures throughout the year allowing longer tick-borne illness season , and slowly recognized identification of the bacteria in the U.S. regions where it typically had not been identified.

    Dr. Saahir Kahn is an infectious disease specialist with Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles. He says environmental factors are likely also playing a role in the expansion of areas with a higher prevalence of Lyme disease.

    Climate change is increasing the size of the regions where the ticks that carry Lyme disease are present, he told Healthline.

    But Kahn argues the BMJ study may have overestimated the true prevalence of Lyme disease.

    While the study did take into account Western blot confirmation of positive cases, the methods didnt specify whether CDC criteria were used as the basis for determining positive results. Some laboratories use looser criteria for Western blot positivity that are more prone to false positives, he said.

    Due to the limitations of the meta-analysis approach used, I think the result of the study is an overestimate of Lyme disease seroprevalence, he concluded.

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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.

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