Lyme Disease Antibodies Test
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About Our Lyme Disease Antibodies Test
Note: Fasting is not required for this test.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium borrelia burgdorferi, and it’s passed to humans through the bite of infected ticks but especially the blacklegged tick.
These ticks normally dwell on animals like deer, horses, chipmunks, squirrels, and many other creatures that are often found in wooded areas. While dogs do get ticks, they are usually not infected with the bacterium that leads to Lyme disease, nor are blacklegged ticks so don’t worry about them.
Our Lyme disease test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay screening test with high sensitivity for antibody detection. Immunoblot testing is appropriate for confirming a detected positive test result and is performed at no additional charge on the original blood sample. Because of it’s high sensitivity for antibodies, this means our test has a wider window period where accurate testing can occur.
Once the blood is provided to the lab, it is tested to measure the level of antibodies that are produced by the immune system when responding to bacterial infections. The problem with most Lyme disease testing is that, after being bitten by a tick, the antibodies can take up to five or more weeks to show up in the blood. This can result in false negative and allows the disease to progress. However, because our Lyme disease test looks for both IgG and IgM antibodies, it can detect Lyme disease sooner than other tests which will usually only search for one type of antibody.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the United States every year. Many who are bitten by ticks never even realize it, especially since the bite of younger (nymph) ticks are painless. The longer a tick is attached to a person, the higher their chances of developing Lyme disease are.
Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome, so it is important to get tested if you are experiencing any symptoms so you can be prescribed the right treatment.
If you don’t get tested and it remains untreated, long-term damage to the heart, joints, and nervous system can occur.
Symptoms of Lyme disease change as it progresses in the body, but a rash can occur between three days to several weeks after the tick bite. The rash is the most identifiable symptom of Lyme disease and happens in about 70-80% of diagnosed cases.
Common Lyme disease symptoms include:
- A characteristic bullseye shaped rash
- Stiff neck
Less common Lyme disease symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Weakness in the limbs
- Temporary paralysis of the muscles in the face
- Irregular heartbeat
If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease, know that it can be stopped in its tracks and cured.
Oral antibiotics are the most common treatment for early-stage Lyme disease. Normally a 14-21 day course of antibiotics is recommended, but a few studies suggest that 10-14 day courses are equally as effective.
If Lyme disease has involved the central nervous system, the recommended treatment may be an intravenous antibiotic for 14-28 days. While this is effective in curing the infection, it might take some more time to be rid of the symptoms.