Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Where To Go For Lyme Disease Testing

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Positive Elisa On Serum

Testing for Lyme DiseaseWhat You Need to Know

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 borrelia-specific antibodies may persist for several years in patients who have had Lyme disease in the past, long after the bacteria have been cleared from the body. Therefore, detection of borrelia specific antibodies in someone with no evidence of current clinical symptoms or recent tick exposure argues against active Lyme disease infection. 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 UKHSA and analysed for inclusion in UKHSA Health Protection Reports as part of Lyme disease epidemiology and surveillance.

You Do Not Usually Need Tests To Show That You Have Lyme Disease

In most cases, theres a clear sign of Lyme diseasea painless, spreading rash that often grows to look like a bulls eye. If you have this rash, and you recently had a tick bite or were in an area known for Lyme disease, you dont need a test. Instead, your doctor can just start treating you with antibiotics, as appropriate.

Is Lyme Disease Common

Lyme disease is fairly common in the United States with more than 300,000 people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.

Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose, and it is often misdiagnosed as other illnesses. Lack of testing for Lyme disease can lead to the development of chronic Lyme disease, which often cannot be cured, only treated.

If you suspect you could have Lyme disease, come into Fast Track Urgent Care today for a fast, affordable Lyme test. Early detection could mean the difference between a cure and a lifetime of health ailments.

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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.

Diagnosis Testing And Treatment

Lyme disease test stock image. Image of infection, immunology

You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.

Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.

It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:

  • Some people who receive antibiotics early in disease may not have a fully developed antibody response or may only develop an antibody response at levels too low to be detected by the test.
  • Antibodies against Lyme disease bacteria usually take a few weeks to develop, so tests performed before this time may be negative even if the person is infected. In this case, if the person is retested a few weeks later, they should have a positive test if they have Lyme disease. It is not until 4 to 6 weeks have passed that the test is likely to be positive. This does not mean that the test is bad, only that it needs to be used correctly.
  • If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.

    * Silver HM. Lyme disease during pregnancy. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Mar 11:93-7.

    The most common co-infections that occur with Lyme disease are anaplasmosis and babesiosis. In general:

    References:

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    Future Perspectives On Lyme Disease Diagnosis

    MTTT’s high performance has been demonstrated in various studies in the United States, Canada and Europe following FDA approval.22,23 In the United States, clinical testing labs have implemented the MTTT, and more manufacturers are offering solutions that are aligned with the MTTT. Some labs, on the other hand, continue to utilize STTT or both because some clinicians want to know what bands are positive in the immunoblots to gain more information about the disease, such as those antigens that are relevant to the detection of Lyme arthritis.12 Therefore, both CDC testing algorithms are projected to be used in the coming years.

    If laboratories intend to perform alternative testing in addition to, or instead of, the testing established by the CDC, they must validate the new test with the relevant assay as a lab-developed test according to state and local guidelines. An example of alternate testing would be the use of immunoblots, as a second-tier test, containing extra and/or different antigens than those required by the CDC. A good example is the VlsE antigen, which stands for variable major protein-like sequence expressed. According to studies, adding the VlsE antigen, in an immunoblot to detect IgG, improves the sensitivity of Lyme disease testing in the early and late stages while retaining a high level of specificity.16,24-26

    Table 1: Clinical symptoms and testing in early and convalescent phases of Lyme disease.

    References

    Feel Bad It Could Be Lyme Unless Proven Otherwise

    Do you have symptoms that come and go? Are you on a medication merry go round? Have you been to 10 or 20 doctors without relief? Maybe youve been misdiagnosed.

    Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is the No. 1 vector borne spreading epidemic worldwide. People often attribute uncomfortable symptoms to aging, stress, or the aches and pains of daily living, especially if blood tests and body scans are normal. What if you have Lyme and dont know it?

    Its not uncommon to get Lyme. If youve ever been for a walk in the woods, laid in the grass, live in or visited a Lyme-endemic area, or have a pet cat or dog, you may have exposed yourself to Lyme disease and associated co-infections. There is even the possibility of contracting Lyme if you were born to a mother who has been exposed. Tick born infections can also be transmitted from blood transfusions. This is scary, as Lyme has been found to persist in stored blood, and Ehrlichia and Babesia have been reported in patients receiving blood transfusions.

    Lyme Looks Like Other Diseases

    I interviewed Dr. Richard Horowitz, a board-certified internist in Hyde Park, N.Y., who has treated more than 12,000 chronically-ill patients with Lyme disease. This expert physician has noticed the trend of varying symptoms. Hes dubbed it Lyme-MSIDS, short for Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome.

    Dr. Horowitz explained:

    Your Symptoms Are Real Even If Your Doctor Cant See Them

    To Me, Its Lyme Until Proven Otherwise

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    How We Chose The Best At

    When evaluating the companies for the best at-home Lyme disease tests, we looked at several key factors in order to provide you with the best information. For one, accuracy was extremely important, so we looked at testing centers with the best reviews and certifications. Every test mentioned in this article has been evaluated and awarded for their laboratory accuracy when dealing with their at-home tests.

    Since Lyme disease is so severe and a misdiagnosis can have awful repercussions, we also considered how others reviewed the at-home tests.

    Lyme Disease Blood Test Results Fully Explained

    Lyme Disease Serologic Testing

    The Lyme disease blood test is used to discover if someone who has the symptoms of a Borrelia burgdorferi infection actually has the bacteria in their bloodstream. Recent infections are much easier to detect and an IgM and IgG blood test will often be ordered as complimentary information gathering tools. This blood test does not always detect the presence of the disease, so patients that have persistent symptoms after having the test may be re-tested in a few weeks.

    If any of these tests come back as positive, then other samples will be used to track the stage of the disease to determine if it has reached the chronic infection stage. At this point, a medical provider will order a Western blot test to confirm the presence of Lyme disease.

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    Lyme Disease Diagnosis And Testing Highlights

    • LLMDS consider the specificity of the particular bands that test positive for a patient.
    • Although the CDC requires 5 of 10 bands for IgG surveillance purposes, 2 of 5 bands have specificity of 93-96% and a sensitivity of 100%. .
    • 56% of patients with Lyme disease test negative using the two-tiered testing system recommended by the CDC.
    • The CDC case surveillance definition allows single-tier IgG immunoblot seropositivity using established criteria.
    • The CDC states: This surveillance case definition was developed for national reporting of Lyme disease it is not intended to be used in clinical diagnosis.
    • The College of American Pathologists found that ELISA tests do not have adequate sensitivity to be used for screening purposes.
    • 52% of patients with chronic disease are negative by ELISA but positive by Western blot.

    Achy Stiff Or Swollen Joints

    Joint pain and stiffness, often intermittent, are early Lyme symptoms. Your joints may be inflamed, warm to the touch, painful, and swollen. You may have stiffness and limited range of motion in some joints .

    Pain may move around. Sometimes your knees may hurt, whereas other times its your neck or your heels. You may also have bursitis . Bursae are the thin cushions between bone and surrounding tissue.

    The pain may be severe, and it may be transitory. More than one joint may be affected. Most often the large joints are involved .

    People often attribute joint problems to age, genetics, or sports. Lyme should be added to that list, as these statistics indicate:

    • One study estimates that 80 percent of people with untreated Lyme have muscle and joint symptoms .
    • Fifty percent of people with untreated Lyme have intermittent episodes of arthritis .
    • Two-thirds of people have their first episode of joint pain within six months of the infection .
    • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs may mask the actual number of people with joint swelling .

    Summary:

    Joint pain that comes and goes, or moves from joint to joint, could be a sign of Lyme.

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    Pfizer French Firm Starting Testing Of Major Lyme Disease Vaccine

    Duncansville, Pa. Researchers are seeking thousands of volunteers in the U.S. and Europe to test the first potential vaccine against Lyme disease in 20 years — in hopes of better fighting the tick-borne threat.

    Lyme is a growing problem, with cases rising and warming weather helping ticks expand their habitat. While a vaccine for dogs has long been available, the only Lyme vaccine for humans was pulled off the U.S. market in 2002 from lack of demand, leaving people to rely on bug spray and tick checks.

    Now Pfizer and French biotech Valneva are aiming to avoid previous pitfalls in developing a new vaccine to protect both adults and kids as young as 5 from the most common Lyme strains on two continents.

    “There wasn’t such a recognition, I think, of the severity of Lyme disease” and how many people it affects the last time around, Pfizer vaccine chief Annaliesa Anderson told The Associated Press.

    Robert Terwilliger, an avid hunter and hiker, was first in line Friday when the study opened in central Pennsylvania. He’s seen lots of friends get Lyme and is tired of wondering if his next tick bite will make him sick.

    “It’s always a worry, you know? Especially when you’re sitting in a tree stand hunting and you feel something crawling on you,” said Terwilliger, 60, of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania. “You’ve got to be very, very cautious.”

    Chronic Lyme Disease Patients Profoundly Debilitated

    Improved detection of acute Lyme disease with MTTT

    Many patients with chronic Lyme disease are profoundly debilitated. Investigators of the four NIH-sponsored retreatment trials documented that the patients quality of life was consistently worse than that of control populations and equivalent to that of patients with congestive heart failure. Pain levels were similar to those of post-surgical patients, and fatigue was on par with that seen in multiple sclerosis.

    An LDo published survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease found that patients suffer a worse quality of life than most other chronic illnesses, including congestive heart failure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Over 70% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported fair or poor health. Similar results have been found in other studies. Many of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease are common in other diseases. The CDC surveillance criteria for confirmed cases specifically exclude most of the symptoms that patients report, including fatigue, sleep impairment, joint pain, muscle aches, other pain, depression, cognitive impairment, neuropathy, and headaches. However, these common symptoms can be severe and may seriously affect quality of life.

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    You Should Take The Test If:

    • You are presenting with symptoms of Lyme infection
    • You live in a place that is rich in vegetation or a woodland area
    • You live in Northern America or Northern Europe
    • You go camping or hiking on a regular basis, particularly during the Summer or Autumn
    • You come into contact with larger woodland animals on a regular basis

    The sample must be collected before 10am on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and returned on the same day.

    Fasting means that you take the test in the morning before you have breakfast. You can still drink water when fasting. Always follow the advice of your doctor with regards to fasting, particularly if you have any medical conditions.

    Rapid Lyme Disease Tests Could Soon Be Heading To A Doctors Office Near You

    A faster test for Lyme disease with results in as little as an hour could be available in doctors offices in the near future thanks to the efforts of two UCF researchers.

    Mollie Jewett, associate professor and head of the Immunity and Pathogenesis Division at the College of Medicine and Brian Kim an assistant professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, will split a $325,000 grant over two years from the Global Lyme Alliance to create a rapid test that can detect the disease weeks earlier than current tests allow. The new test would eliminate the need to visit diagnostic labs and wait for the results.

    Lyme disease is carried by deer ticks and infects people when they are bitten by ticks carrying the bacteria borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks are especially common in the northeastern United States and people are exposed to the ticks usually during outdoor activities. Warming temperatures have helped tick populations explode and infiltrate more areas of the country increasing the chance of getting the disease.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 476,000 people are infected with Lyme disease every year.

    Early symptoms of Lyme disease are fever, headache, fatigue and the possibility of a telltale bullseye rash at the site of the bite. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system and cause debilitating long-term conditions.

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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

    • neck pain
    • sore throat

    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.

    These tests may come in handy if youre an avid outdoors person who lives in geographical areas where ticks are present.

    When choosing at-home Lyme disease tests to feature, we looked at affordability, accuracy, ease in reading directions, and what made the specific tests stand out from the crowd.

    To select the best tests, we look at studies and user reviews.

    How To Avoid Tick Bites

    Lyme Disease Is On The Rise. And It’s Bad.

    To reduce the chance of being bitten:

    • cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks
    • use insect repellent on your clothes and skin products containing DEET are best
    • stay on clear paths whenever possible
    • wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see and brush off

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