Lyme Disease Tests

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Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii. Lyme disease tests measure Borrelia antibodies in the blood, or in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) if there are signs and symptoms of central nervous system disease.

A healthy adult who has never been infected by Borrelia bacteria will not have any antibodies.

The testing result could be:

  • If a person has signs and symptoms and the initial EIA or IFA and western blot tests are positive, then it is likely that the person has Lyme disease.
  • If someone tests positive for only the IgM antibody but negative for IgG and western blot, then the person may have a very recent infection or a false-positive test result.
  • If an IgM result is not detectable but the IgG and Western blot tests are positive, then it is likely that the person tested either has a later stage infection or had an infection at some time in the past.
  • If all tests are negative, then either the person’s symptoms are due to another cause or the antibody levels are too low to detect at that time; retesting in 2 to 3 weeks may be needed to confirm or rule out infection.
  • If the IgM and western blot are negative but the IgG is positive, then either the person has recovered from Lyme disease or this is due to cross reactive antibodies and the symptoms are due to another cause.

Keywords: Lyme Antibodies Detection; Lyme Antibodies IgM/IgG by Western Blot; Borrelia Antibodies; IgM/IgG; Borrelia DNA Detection by PCR.

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