Home Test Is There A Test For Lyme Disease In Humans

Is There A Test For Lyme Disease In Humans


The Accuracy Of Diagnostic Tests For Lyme Disease In Humans A Systematic Review And Meta

Tufts Researchers May Have Found New, More Efficient Lyme Disease Test
  • Contributed equally to this work with: Lisa A. Waddell, Judy Greig, Mariola Mascarenhas, Shannon Harding

    Affiliation National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

  • Contributed equally to this work with: Lisa A. Waddell, Judy Greig, Mariola Mascarenhas, Shannon Harding

    Affiliation National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

  • Contributed equally to this work with: Lisa A. Waddell, Judy Greig, Mariola Mascarenhas, Shannon Harding

    Affiliation National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

  • ¶ These authors also contributed equally to this work.

    Affiliation National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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.

When To Speak With A Doctor

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to help prevent late Lyme disease and its symptoms, including chronic Lyme arthritis and Lyme carditis.

A person should consult with a doctor if they have a tick bite or believe a tick has bitten them after visiting tick-prone regions.

They should also seek medical help if they experience any signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. These

The following are commonly asked questions about Lyme disease tests.

Don’t Miss: Can You Recover From Lyme Disease Without Treatment

How Is It Diagnosed

If youâve been outside in an area where ticks are known to live, you should tell your doctor. Theyâll also want to know about the symptoms youâre having. These details are crucial to making a diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Early symptoms that usually occur within the first month after a tick bite can include:

  • Rash at the site of the tick bite that may look like a âbullâs-eyeâ
  • Problems with your short-term memory

Symptoms that come and go are common with Lyme disease. They will also depend on the stage of the disease.

Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions

Your Lyme Disease Test Results Are Negative, But Your Symptoms Say ...

If you have not done so already, remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers.

The chances that you might get Lyme disease from a single tick bite depend on the type of tick, where you acquired it, and how long it was attached to you. Many types of ticks bite people in the U.S., but only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Furthermore, only blacklegged ticks in the highly endemic areas of the northeastern and north central U.S. are commonly infected. Finally, blacklegged ticks need to be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease. This is why its so important to remove them promptly and to check your body daily for ticks if you live in an endemic area.

If you develop illness within a few weeks of a tick bite, see your health care provider right away. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash, fever, body aches, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Ticks can also transmit other diseases, so its important to be alert for any illness that follows a tick bite.


Moody KD, Barthold SW, 1991. Relative infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lewis rats by various routes of inoculation.external iconAm J Trop Med Hyg 44: 135-9.

There are no reports of Lyme disease being spread to infants through breast milk. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease and are also breastfeeding, make sure that your doctor knows this so that he or she can prescribe an antibiotic thats safe for use when breastfeeding.

Read Also: Pearls Wigs East Lyme Ct

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.

You May Like: Lyme Disease And Parkinsons

What If Lyme Disease Goes Untreated

If Lyme disease goes untreated, it can affect other systems in the body. According to the , common symptoms of later stage Lyme disease include:

  • severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • additional erythema migrans rashes on other areas of the body
  • facial palsy, which is a loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face
  • arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and other large joints
  • intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
  • episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

Also Check: Can Lyme Disease Cause Asthma

British Columbia Specific Information

Ticks are tiny bugs which feed on blood. For information on ticks, removing ticks, and how to avoid being bitten, see HealthLinkBC File #01 Tick Bites and Disease. You may also be interested in the HealthLinkBC File #96 Insect Repellent and DEET.

While most tick bites do not result in diseases, some can. Some of the diseases passed on by ticks include relapsing fever, tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever , Q Fever and anaplasmosis. The most well-known is Lyme disease. For more information on Lyme Disease, visit BC Centre for Disease Control – Lyme Disease .

Investigation Of Suspected Neurological Lyme Disease

Testing for Lyme DiseaseWhat You Need to Know

The diagnosis of neurological Lyme disease can only be confirmed by examination of the CSF and a paired serum. A definite diagnosis is based on the presence of a pleocytosis in the CSF, demonstration of intrathecal synthesis of specific antibodies to Borrelia species in CSF by comparison to serum and the presence of neurological symptoms. It is not possible to confirm intrathecal synthesis and hence definite neurological Lyme disease without a paired serum .

In 2018 RIPL is introducing a service for the detection of intrathecal synthesis of Borrelia-specific antibodies which is summarised in this flow diagram.

Clinicians may ask for guidance on laboratory testing of CSF from RIPL if required.

You May Like: How Long For Lyme Test Results

Read Also: How Do I Know If My Child Has Lyme Disease

Prevention Of Lyme Disease

Reducing the risk of tick bites is one obvious strategy to prevent Lyme disease. In endemic areas, clearing brush and trees, removing leaf litter and woodpiles, and keeping grass mowed may reduce exposure to ticks. Application of pesticides to residential properties is effective in suppressing populations of ticks but may be harmful to other wildlife and people.

Tick and insect repellents that contain N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide applied to the skin provide additional protection but require frequent reapplication. Serious neurologic complications in children from frequent or excessive application of DEET-containing repellents have been reported, but they are rare and the risk is low when these products are used according to instructions on the labels. Use of products with concentrations of DEET greater than 30% is not necessary and increases the risk of adverse effects. DEET should be applied sparingly only to exposed skin but not to the face, hands, or skin that is irritated or abraded. After one returns indoors, skin that was treated should be washed with soap and water. Permethrin is available in a spray for application to clothing only and is particularly effective because it kills ticks on contact.

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.

Also Check: Homes For Sale Lyme Ct

Detection Of Bacterial Antigens

Antigen-capture assays provide one means of direct detection. Bacteria often shed or secrete antigens that can be detected in body fluids. For example, legionellosis, cryptococcosis, aspergillosis, and dimorphic fungal infections can be diagnosed using antigen tests applied to urine, blood, bronchoalveolar lavages, or cerebrospinal fluid. A direct test for Lyme disease is needed, but a sensitive and specific antigen-capture assay has been elusive. Even if the antigen is known to be present in a sample, past attempts to develop an antigen-capture assay had poor specificity, low sensitivity, and uncertainty about the choice of the capture antigen target .

The specificity and sensitivity of an antigen-detection assay is largely a function of the choice of the capture and reporter antigenic targets, as well as the affinity of the antibody used to capture or detect it . Depending on the duration of the infection, the B. burgdorferi antigenic repertoire changes. In addition, because of the high sequence variability between B. burgdorferi strains, identification of conserved antigenic epitopes that span all strains at all times has been challenging across genospecies. One can select 1 or more appropriate target antigens for any genospecies. Even OspC, known for its variability, has at least 2 well-conserved epitope targets found across the various serotypes.

New developments to stabilize proteins in samples prior to analysis may be suitable for several assays .

Lab Testing For Lyme Disease Is Notoriously Tricky Even For Trained Doctors

How To Test For Lyme Disease Years Later

Gold-standard Lyme disease tests are still murkymeaning a kit you buy online may be even less reliable.

Researchers determine the validity of most disease screening tests by looking at two factors.4 The first is sensitivity, which refers to how accurately a test identifies people who have the markers of a disease . The second is specificity, which refers to how well a test identifies people who dont have the markers of a disease .

In general the recommended lab tests for Lyme disease can lack both. There are a lot of false positives out there , and thats always been a problem, Raymond J. Dattwyler, MD, a professor of microbiology, immunology, and medicine at New York Medical College, tells SELF.

There are numerous reasons for potential inaccuracies. Some Western blot tests dont look for every type of protein band related to Lyme disease, for example, which could skew results, according to both Dr. Dattwyler and Samuel Shor, MD, FACP, former president of the International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society and clinical associate professor of health care sciences at George Washington University. Even if you take one that does, IgG and IgM antibodies may not develop until weeks after you become infected, so testing too soon can lead to false negatives, Dr. Shor says.

You May Like: How To Detect Lyme Disease

Current Problems With Lyme Disease Diagnosis & Patient Care

  • Diagnostic tests cannot yet accurately identify the earliest stage of Lyme disease when making the diagnosis is crucial.
  • The rash is not always present or easily recognized
  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis can make Lyme disease more difficult to treat and lead to prolonged and debilitating illness
  • Early symptoms can be mistaken for a summer flu
  • Lyme disease can involve several parts of the body, including joints, connective tissue, heart, brain, and nerves, and produce different symptoms at different times.
  • Antibody testing done after early treatment may be negative and never turn positive for some cases
  • Borrelia burgdorferi can evade our protective immune system and trigger immune system dysfunction.
  • No reliable blood test is presently available to measure treatment success, necessitating close clinical follow up and improved physician education.
  • Presently there is no vaccine to prevent Lyme disease available to humans.

Cure For Lyme Disease

Lyme diseasecaused by the Borrelia burgdorferi spirocheteis often transmitted through the deer tick. However, its not the only source of infection. It can also be transmitted via mites from rats, mice, birds, and maybe even bed bugs. Of course not every mite or bed bug is infected with Lyme disease but in the case of these organisms transmitting skin parasites such as Collembola, Strongyloides Stercoralis, and Morgellons its estimated that 95% of those afflicted with these organisms have Lyme disease according to Dr. Harvey of Texas.

Usually when inflicted via the deer tick a bulls eye rash develops which is often the tell tale sign of Lyme disease. Treated early on Lyme disease can often be effectively treated with several common antiobiotics. Years ago tetracycline was widely used, today doxycycline and amoxicillin or cefuroxime are used for two to three weeks.

If the disease is more progressed, intravenous antibiotics are used for up to a month.

For even more resistant chronic Lyme disease a rotation of various antibioticsbactrim for 3 months followed by zithromax for three months and then biaxin for another two months. With chronic Lyme disease it morphs to hide in yeast. Thus simultaneously Fluconazole and Flagyl er 750 mg two days in a row per week are often used.

I chose the latter one, Max GXL, and noticed that the swelling and pain in my knee diminished greatly within six weeks.

Recommended Reading: How Do They Test For Lyme Disease

Read Also: Is There A Treatment For Lyme Disease

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

What Happens During Lyme Disease Testing

Lyme disease vaccine for humans being developed

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:

Also Check: Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome

How Can I Tell If Treatment Is Working

If joint lameness is the presenting sign, improvement may be noted after 3-5 days starting antibiotics. A dog’s response to therapy can be assessed by repeating the QC6 test six months after treatment is complete. Dogs that start with a moderate to high QC6 value typically show a 50% reduction or more in the QC6 at six months, indicating that treatment has been successful. Dogs that have a lower initial QC6 value may not show such dramatic reductions in the QC6 at six months, although the value should still be lower than the starting point if treatment has been successful.

A persistently high QC6 suggests treatment may not have been complete or that the dog became reinfected after treatment was stopped.

What Is Lyme Disease How Does My Dog Get Infected

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Borrelia. The bacteria are most commonly carried by the deer tick . Infection occurs when a dog is bitten by an infected tick. It appears that the disease is not transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately 12 hours. The tick itself becomes infected by feeding on infected mice, birds, deer, and other animals.

You May Like: Joint Pain After Lyme Disease

Cdc Supports The Development Of New Tests

New tests may be developed as alternatives to one or both steps of the two-step process. Before CDC will recommend new tests, they must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration . For more details, see: Recommendations for Test Performance and Interpretation from the Second National Conference on Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease.

What Is On The Horizon For Lyme Testing

Pin on Beyond the Bite Health Articles

Because Lyme bacteria are not usually present in high enough numbers to be detectable, blood tests to look for Borrelia are not helpful.

Better diagnostic tests are needed that are direct and can detect infection at all stages of Lyme disease. Researchers are studying new diagnostic methods using better antibody tests, direct detection methods, and different ways to measure immune response to Lyme disease.

Read Also: Lyme Disease And Lymph Nodes