Re: How reliable is the Lyme Titers Blood Test ???
Ticker may come by and give you more info, but I asked a similar question on 6-26 around 10pm (you'll find it on about the third page of this board - just find it by date and time).
Denise Lang (in "Coping with Lyme Disease") says some researchers believe Lyme may be difficult to detect (through current tests) in folks with chronic disease because our immune systems have been so pummeled that we're not producing the antibodies the test is designed to find (which identifies us then as having the disease). According to Lang, other things like antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS, COX-2 inhibitors) or prednisone can inhibit antibody production as well. Also, the spirochete can HIDE and we can have Lyme but our bodies not produce antibodies because our bodies don't know it's there. (Slimy little suckers!)
To date, my understanding (which is still very limited) is that most general practitioners (and many specialists) will start testing with the ELISA because this is what the CDC has recommended. I think I read somewhere that the ELISA is only 66% reliable for finding Lyme Dz. (Don't quote me on that number - but whatever the correct figure is, it is definitely LOW). If the ELISA comes back positive, the CDC then recommends the Western Blot Test. But again, low reliability, especially if docs only test for the "CDC-specific" bands (only 3 bands on the IgM blot and 10 bands on the IgG blot out of 99 possible bands). Ticker put a really good list of the Western Blot bands on one of the strings that's at the top of this board (I think the "Lyme disease info" string). Look at it!
There are other tests, in addition to the ELISA & Western Blot, but again, my understanding is that unless folks have seen a Lyme specialist (LLDS) or a Lyme-sympathetic doc, it's unlikely you're going to be tested using the other diagnostics. IGeneX labs in Palo Alto, CA is one that's widely mentioned here on the boards as being meticulous about testing for Lyme.
Have you been tested? Who tested you and what tests did he/she use?
I've had the question about chronic lyme showing up on these tests as well. I'm currently waiting to be seen by a LLDS. Good luck!
BTW - I wanted to add that I'm quoting Lang's book a lot only because it's the only one I've really been reading to date. (And it's very good!). I've got others I've bought and that I will read after Lang's, and others that are highly recommended through folks on this board.
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IDET (single level) 10/30/02
Last edited by Kali M; 07-05-2005 at 08:59 AM.