The First Signs of Lyme Disease
- Lyme disease makes hundreds of thousands of people sick every year
- It is the most commonly reported tick-borne infection in the United States.
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Lyme Disease Testing
ELISA Followed by WESTERN BLOT: $189
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This common and rapid test to identify Lyme disease antibodies is the most sensitive screening test for Lyme disease.
The Western Blot Test also identifies Lyme disease antibodies and can confirm the results of an ELISA of an Elisa screening test. It is most often done to detect a chronic Lyme disease infection or false or inconclusive readings of the Elisa Test.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is spread by tick bites and can affect the skin, joints, heart, and the nervous system. Some Symptoms of Lyme Disease may include:
A characteristic "bulls-eye" rash that spreads from the site of the bite, fever, chills, headache, fatigue and if left untreated the disease may progress to cause: intermittent joint pain, meningitis, facial paralysis (Bell's palsy), weakness and numbness in the arms and legs, memory problems, may rarely affect the heart or eyes.
Lyme disease occurs in phases -- the early phase beginning at the site of the tick bite with an expanding ring of redness. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on the patient's clinical signs of illness and the detection of Lyme antibodies in the blood.
What is a Lyme Disease Test:
A Lyme disease test detects antibodies to the Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi in the blood. Antibody testing should be done in a two-step process, using the ELISA followed by the Western blot test. ELISA is considered a more reliable and accurate test than IFA. The Western blot test (which is a more specific test) should be done in all people who have tested positive or borderline positive (equivocal) in an ELISA test.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose:
In early Lyme disease, sometimes a diagnosis may simply be made by finding the classic red rash, particularly in people who have recently been in regions in which Lyme disease is common. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay - ELISA Screening Blood tests for antibodies to Lyme bacteria is generally not helpful in early stage disease, but it can help in diagnosis in later stages. It may take up to 2 months after becoming infected before antibodies can be detected in a blood test. Antibodies, however, can be false indicators of disease, since they can persist for years after the disease is cured. Moreover, false-positive tests in people with nonspecific findings can lead to confusion. The confirmatory test that is most reliable is the
The following table summarizes results that may be seen with Lyme disease antibody tests.
|IgM antibody||IgG antibody||Western blot||RESULT|
|Positive||Positive||Positive||Likely Lyme disease|
|Negative||Positive||Positive||Late or previous infection|
|Negative||Negative||Negative||No infection present; symptoms may be due to another cause or antibody levels too low to detect|
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