Key Points About Lyme Disease In Children
- Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria are usually spread by tick bites.
- Lyme disease is a year-round problem, but it peaks during the spring and summer months.
- Ticks live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. A child is more at risk outdoors in these places, or around a pet who has been in these areas.
- One of the most common symptoms is a ring-shaped rash that looks like a bulls-eye. It may be pink in the center and have a darker red ring around it. The rash does not occur in every case of Lyme.
- Lyme is usually not hard for a healthcare provider to diagnose. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. Your child may have blood tests to help diagnose Lyme.
- Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotic medicine. Early stage Lyme disease is more easily cured with antibiotics than late-stage disease. Repeated courses of antibiotics for post-Lyme disease syndrome dont help.
- There is no vaccine for Lyme disease. But you can help prevent Lyme disease by protecting your child from tick bites.
Other Lyme Disease Tests
Three other tests that may be used to diagnose Lyme disease are polymerase chain reaction , antigen detection and culture testing. They are called direct tests because they detect the bacteria, not just your immune response to it.
PCR multiplies a key portion of DNA from the Lyme bacteria so that it can be detected. While PCR is highly accurate when the Lyme DNA is detected, it produces many false negatives. This is because the Lyme bacteria are sparse and may not be in the sample tested.
Antigen detection tests look for a unique Lyme protein in fluid . Sometimes people whose indirect tests are negative are positive on this test.
Culture is the gold standard test for identifying bacteria. The lab takes a sample of blood or other fluid from the patient and attempts to grow Lyme spirochetes in a special medium.
Although culture tests are generally accepted as proof of infection, the CDC has advised caution on the only commercially available culture test developed by Advanced Laboratory Services. LDo recognizes that the test is new and requires further validation in other studies. However, we believe that informed patients should be able to choose the test if they prefer. Choice is particularly important given the low quality of Lyme disease tests generally.
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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.
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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.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease
Most of the people who get Lyme disease and are treated early will be fine.
Even after proper treatment, some patients may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This does not signify ongoing infection and will not respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms resolve over the next one to six months.
Chronic Lyme Syndrome
Chronic Lyme syndrome is a term used by some that includes the symptoms of Post-Lyme syndrome outlined above. This is a controversial topic with no accepted etiology and no proven cause or association.
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Access To Lyme Disease Testing Services
This guidance on the laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease is intended for healthcare professionals in the UK. Patients concerned about possible Lyme infection should consult an appropriate healthcare professional, for example their GP, in the first instance.
Health professionals wishing to discuss a possible case or ascertain local arrangements for testing should contact a local Infection specialist .
NHS testing for Lyme disease is available through local service providers and the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at UK Health Security Agency Porton where ISO15189 accredited confirmatory testing is also provided. RIPL also provides a testing service for neurological Lyme disease.
RIPL provides medical and laboratory specialist services to the NHS and other healthcare providers, covering advice and diagnosis of a wide range of unusual bacterial and viral infections, including Lyme disease.
RIPL continuously updates its methods and will make further information on Lyme disease diagnostic testing available as it arises.
What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Tick
If you experience a tick bite, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:
- Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the “head” of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on the skin.
- Avoid crushing the tick’s body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could exposure yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- DO NOT use kerosene, petroleum jelly , or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- DO NOT squeeze the tick’s body with your fingers or tweezers.
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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. 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.
Lyme Igg/igm Antibody Serology
The IgG/IgM Antibody Serology test is an ELISA , which indicates the presence of both IgG and IgM antibodies to B. burgdorferi. IgM antibodies are present shortly after infection takes place. IgG antibodies often persist long after symptoms have disappeared. The presence of either IgG/IgM antibodies indicates exposure to Lyme-causing Borrelia, not the active disease. A positive or equivocal test must be confirmed by both IgG and IgM ImmunoBlots Blots.
Suitable for use on humans and animals, our Lyme Disease Test Kit is a unique kit to test ticks for the presence of the Borellia bacteria associated with Lyme Disease. Results are provided within a maximum of four working days from receipt of the tick as an independent laboratory report, which can be shown to a medical or veterinary practitioner. Rapid, early treatment of Lyme disease is crucial to avoid the development of chronic, long term symptoms, however current medical testing is limited in early stage infections. Our kit is an invaluable aid in successful, rapid diagnosis. Payment for the kit is a two stage process:
- Purchase the kit. The kit contains tick removers, test tube, all return packaging and full instructions.
- Payment of the testing fee. This payment should only be made when you have found a tick and wish to send it for testing. It is recommended that payment is made immediately prior to the dispatch of the tick.
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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.
How Can Lyme Disease Last For Years
Category: Health Published: October 9, 2015
If treated, Lyme disease does not last for years. However, for some people, the after-effects of the disease can linger for months and sometimes even years. Alternative medicine providers call this condition Chronic Lyme disease, but this title is simply wrong. For a person who has been infected with Lyme disease and then treated, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is measurably no longer present in his body, even though he may still feel some symptoms. The correct title for this condition is therefore Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is delivered to humans through tick bites. From the bite site, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Usually, but not always, an infectious tick bite causes a characteristic red rash at the site of the bite. Other symptoms include fever, muscle soreness, headache, fatigue, and dizziness. In a few cases, symptoms can also include mood swings, memory loss, and sleep disturbance. If left untreated for too long, Lyme disease can lead to nerve damage, thereby causing shooting pain, numbness, and even paralysis.
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What Is The Most Accurate Test For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is more common than many people think. Figures from the Center for Disease Control suggest that roughly 300,000 Lyme disease cases occur every year in the US.
The numbers are alarming, but it gets worse as finding accurate diagnostic tests can be challenging. Although the disease is treatable, it is nearly impossible to tackle it effectively if it is not diagnosed accurately and early enough.
Late detection can lead to severe health problems such as arthritis, heart blockage, and inability to concentrate, among other problems.
Given the prevalence and seeming elusiveness of the disease, some of the logical questions concerned persons would ask are: what is the most accurate test for Lyme disease? And when should I get checked for Lyme disease? This article will proffer answers to these and many other related questions. But first, a little background would be in order.
Can Persistent Cases Be Predicted
A bigger question, which was not examined in the current paper, is whether these autoantibodies may identify a subset of patients who will develop persistent symptoms of Lyme disease after treatment. Up to 20 percent of patients can develop persistent symptoms after Lyme disease. Diagnosis of these patients is currently only by clinical symptoms, making it likely that patients with different causes of their symptoms are grouped together. And treatment trials in patients with persistent Lyme disease are unlikely to show benefit if that occurs.
Anti-phospholipid antibodies are commonly seen in autoimmune diseases like lupus, and are associated with blood clots and persistent inflammation that causes other disease conditions, says Hu. Many of the persistent symptoms in patients who continue to have symptoms after being diagnosed with Lyme disease are similar to those autoimmune diseases.
If there ends up being a link between having persistent Lyme symptoms and these autoantibodies, this would be the first test that could be used to distinguish a group of patients who have persistent Lyme disease, he says. It would allow us to test specific new therapies targeted to a defined mechanism.
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The Most Common Lyme Disease Blood Tests
The two most common diagnostic tests for Lyme disease are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the Western blot. These Lyme disease tests allow physicians to visualize the reaction between antibodies in an infected persons blood to specific antigens or parts of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
In the case of the Western blot, for example, antigens are separated by size and then transferred onto a membrane strip. When an antibody reacts with an antigen on the strip, that band will turn dark purple. For test results to be positive, a specific combination of bands on the membrane strip must be present.
X Lyme Disease Blood Test Lyme Borreliosi
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks. Usually, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours before the bacteria can spread.
- The Lyme IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette is a qualitative test kit.
- Detects IgG and IgM antibodies to Borrelia in whole blood, serum or plasma specimens.
- This test consists of two components, an IgG component and an IgM component.
- GP Medical Professional Testing Kits
- CE Marked for Professional Use
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The Possible Causes Of Post
The mechanisms underlying post-Lyme disease symptoms are not known and are likely to be multifactorial. Possible explanations include persistent infection with B. burgdorferi, other tick-borne infections, part of the expected resolution of symptoms after treatment, post-infective fatigue syndrome, autoimmune mechanisms, and intercurrent conditions.
In many patients, these symptoms probably represent the natural evolution of response after therapy, as the percentage of patients reporting symptoms after antibiotic treatment decreases over time. In one study of patients treated for erythema migrans, 34% had symptoms at 3 weeks, 24% at 3 months, and 17% at 12 months . In other patients, a post-infective fatigue syndrome may be triggered by Lyme disease, as has been shown to occur with other infections. Prolonged fatigue after infections is relatively common, and it can be disabling and persistent. A recent study showed that post-infective fatigue syndrome could be predicted by the severity of the acute illness, and its incidence was similar after the different infections . In this cohort, the case rate for provisional post-infective fatigue syndrome was 35% at six weeks, 27% at three months, and 9% at 12 months rates similar to those reported in patients treated for erythema migrans . The mechanisms that are triggered during the acute illness and that sustain the persistent symptoms in post-infective fatigue syndrome are currently unknown.
What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.
After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers dont know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.
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What Are The Worst Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Its important to acknowledge flu-like symptoms if you live in an area where ticks are present or you have recently been in a wooded region, because when Lyme disease is left untreated, it can lead to severe health consequences. Very often, the worst symptoms of Lyme disease are ones that you may not have even known could happen after a tick bite.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most severe symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Severe headaches
- Facial paralysis, a condition known as Bells palsy
- Muscle, joint, tendon, and bone aches
- Heart disorders, a condition known as Lyme carditis
- Additional skin rashes other than the one that presents at the onset of infection
- Dizzy spells
- Nerve pain
While not all flu-like symptoms you feel will be caused by Lyme disease, it is important to pay attention to both your body and your recent surroundings if you have been in an area frequented by ticks. One trick to telling the difference between Lyme disease and a typical flu is the consistency of the symptoms. Lyme flu-like symptoms tend to come and go, whereas typical flu symptoms will be persistent until your body has recovered, after which they will subside.
Lyme disease can cause permanent damage. Knowing you have Lyme as early as possible is key to overcoming the symptoms and avoiding any possible long-term effects.
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