Monday, July 15, 2024

How To Test Ticks For Lyme Disease

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How To Avoid Getting A Tick Bite

Officials harvest ticks, test for Lyme disease in Sacramento area

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.

How Do You Know If You Have Lyme Disease

The answer to the question Can I testmyself for Lyme disease? must be answered in two distinct parts. Diagnosticmethods for both acute and chronic Lyme disease are very different, with thelatter being a lot more problematic than the former. First, the good news:acute Lyme disease is relatively easy to self-diagnose in most cases, at leastin theory. Lyme is spread through the saliva of ticks, which transfer the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria to thebloodstreams of their human hosts. The acute stage of the disease begins soonafter a bite symptoms similar to the flu appear, although they are not alwayssevere. But the critical symptom for patients is the distinctive bullseye rashthat appears at the site of the bite. This takes the form of a circle inside alarger circle, and is one of the prime signs of Lyme disease. If you find this,you can almost assuredly self-diagnose Lyme, although of course you should alsosee a doctor right away with your concerns.

Molecular Testing For Detection Of Borrelia Species Bacterial Dna

PCR is available for Borrelia species DNA detection but is of limited value in routine testing for Lyme disease because the organism is only present in blood during the early stages of the disease and is predominantly restricted to the affected tissues.

Diagnostic molecular testing for Borrelia species DNA is available on request for relevant specimen types. Please call RIPL to discuss individual cases.

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Elisa And Western Blot

The first part of the ELISA test acts as a preliminary investigation to see if further testing is needed. A negative result typically warrants no further testing, but a positive one does. The first test is highly sensitive and the second highly specific. This makes sure that only people with Lyme disease are diagnosed and treated.

The Western blot test is a type of blood test that aims to single out certain proteins known as antigens. It is used to identify an active infection of Lyme disease. Although sometimes accurate, however, this test is inherently flawed because methods and criteria for interpreting results can change from lab to lab.

Are There Lyme Disease Home Remedies

Test A Tick For Lyme Disease

Health departments in areas with high rates of infection have undertaken campaigns to raise public awareness and educate the public on facts about Lyme disease.

  • It is known that certain outdoor areas are highly infested with deer ticks and should be avoided if possible — these include woods and brush areas.
  • Generally, the tick counts on suburban lawns are much lower.

Lyme disease should never be treated with home remedies alone. Antibiotics are needed to cure the illness, however, some home remedies may help ease symptoms as you recover. Consult a doctor before taking an herbal supplement or natural remedy as they may interact with medications you already take or may cause unwanted side effects.

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Serological Testing Of Serum For The Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease

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 start 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 using commonly available antibody screening tests as a first stage, followed by immuno-blotting of samples that give positive or indeterminate results in the screening tests.

  • Sensitive screening tests are used at the first stage of testing but have the disadvantage of occasionally detecting other diseases and producing false positive results. RIPL uses the C6 Lyme ELISA for screening

  • Samples giving positive or indeterminate preliminary screening test results are then tested in a more specific system to confirm the presence of Borrelia-specific antibodies. RIPL uses the Borrelia ViraChip® IgG, IgM test for this purpose

  • Can Other Bugs Give Me Lyme

    Researchers have found spirochetes in mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects. But it has not been proven that they can transmit the infection.

    A tick is uniquely suited to carry and spread Lyme disease. Spirochetes have co-evolved with ticks over millions of years. Tick saliva contains immune suppressors that help disseminate the bacteria throughout the hosts body. And, because ticks feed on many different animals, they can spread the disease widely.

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    Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii.It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left.

    Tick Testing Organizationswhere To Get The Tick Tested

    When do you test for Lyme disease?

    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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    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.

    How To Safely Remove A Tick

  • Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible.
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick. Your goal is to remove the entire tick, ideally in one piece, including the mouth parts embedded under the skin.
  • Thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  • Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, and some ticks carry other diseases. To avoid infecting yourself, never crush a tick with your fingers. For more information on the safe removal, disposal and identification of ticks visit

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    Lyme Disease Signs And Symptoms

    Most symptoms of Lyme disease in humans usually appear between three and 30 days after a bite from an infected blacklegged tick.

    You should contact your local public health unit or speak to a health care professional right away if you have been somewhere that ticks might live and experience any of the following symptoms:

    • rash
    • a bulls-eye rash (a red patch on the skin that is usually round or oval and more than 5 cm that spreads outwards and is getting bigger
    • a bruise-like rash
    • another type of unusual rash
    • muscle aches and joint pains
    • fatigue
    • swollen lymph nodes
    • spasms, numbness or tingling
    • facial paralysis

    If not treated, Lyme disease can make you feel tired and weak and, if it gets really bad, it can even harm your heart, nerves, liver and joints. Symptoms from untreated Lyme disease can last years and include recurring arthritis and neurological problems, numbness, paralysis and, in very rare cases, death.

    What Are Lyme Disease Causes And Risk Factors

    New Lyme Disease Guidelines

    B. burgdorferi bacteria cause Lyme disease. The bacteria have a complex life cycle, spending part of their life in the deer tick and part in some mammals such as mice and deer.

    Humans are not a part of the bacterium’s life cycle but can become infected when bitten by the tick. Lyme disease is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person.

    While dogs and cats can get Lyme disease, there are no reported cases of these animals spreading the disease to their owners. However, dogs and cats can bring the infected ticks into the home, which is one reason why tick protection for pets is important. Talk to a veterinarian about the right type of tick control for any pets.

    Risk factors for getting Lyme disease include the following:

    • Living in the northeastern or Midwestern U.S. states where the disease is most prevalent
    • Being outdoors in the woods or areas that have tall grass, shrubs, or brush
    • Fishing, camping, hunting, yard work, hiking, and other outdoor activities in tick-infested areas
    • Having bare, unprotected skin when outdoors in high-risk areas
    • Pets who are not protected against ticks may bring them indoors.
    • Not removing attached ticks promptly

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    Deer Ticks And Lyme Disease

    More Information About Lyme Disease from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Lyme Disease: 3 Things You Should Know. Ticks can carry a number of diseases, and often, they can be transferred to a human host. One of the more common conditions, Lyme disease, affects thousands of Americans and numerous others worldwide annually.

    Are There Other Tick

    The same tick that carries the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, can also carry different pathogens. The most common are Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Bartonellosis and Rickettsiosis . It is estimated that up to 25% of the ticks that cause Lyme disease may transmit one or more of these other diseases. Babesiosis is like malaria with the symptoms of acute disease being fever, chills, vomiting and fatigue. It is usually self-limiting except in Lyme patientsand those who have undergone splenectomy. Ehrilichiosis may have symptoms of fever, chills, vomiting and fatigue and require prompt antibiotics. Other forms of these diseases may be present in patients with Lyme disease. Some symptoms, such as the EM rash, may appear differently depending on if it was caused by B. burgdorferi or another bacteria strain. With B. burgdorferi, the rash usually appears days or weeks after the tick-bite, whereas rashes caused by other bacteria present in the tick usually show up immediately. Tick in Nymph stage is the size of a poppy seed.

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    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.

    Removing And Storing Your Tick

    Protecting Yourself from Ticks and Lyme Disease

    If you find a tick attached to you or your pet, dont panic. Carefully remove and save the tick for identification and testing. Follow these instructions:

    Tick Removal: Grasp the tick with tweezers or tissue as close to your skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight upward from the skin- no twisting or unscrewing. Do not attempt removal by using nail polish remover, kerosene, or Vaseline.

    Another option for tick removal is to loop some sewing thread around the tick and as close to the skin as possible . Basically you will be looping the thread around the ticks mouthpart, which is embedded in the skin. Once you have it tightly wound around the tick gently pull upward. You will have lassoed the tick around its mouth, which will force to come out. This method is a good way of insuring you dont pop the tick, which is not good since it is infected and you dont want to have contact with infected fluids.

    Tick Storage: The tick must be kept moist. Place the tick in a small container with 1 or 2 drops of water or saline solution. A small piece of damp cotton or tissue inside the container also works. Do not use other liquids such as alcohol or formaldehyde solutions, since the tick may absorb it and explode, making it impossible to test.

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    What Is The Most Reliable Lyme Disease Test

    There is no one answer when it comes to determining which Lyme disease test is the most reliable. This is because each test looks for a different thing at a different stage of the infection. When investigating a long-term infection, tests that look for the bodys response to the infection are the most reliable, whereas for an active infection, a test that identifies the bacteria itself will be the most effective. Some tests only show up on an active infection and fail to indicate chronic Lyme, so the most reliable test option depends on which stage a persons infection is currently at.

    Featured image by Emin Baycan on Unsplash

    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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    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.

    How It All Works

    Lyme Disease Is On The Rise Again. Here

    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 state . 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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