Originally Posted by bigstan
Hi all. Just curious about Lyme disease testing. I had a Lyme Antibodies (EIA), blood test that turned up negative. Also shows negative for SSA, and SSB, antibody.
My question. Is that all of the tests for Lyme, or are there more detailed blood tests to diagnose this disease. I have all the symptoms.
If your out there Ticker, you seem knowledegable with this disease and I would appreciate any input.
The EIA (ELISA) is a common and rapid test to detect Lyme disease antibodies. It is sensitive but not specific and it misses many positive cases of Lyme disease, amd often reports "false negatives."
There are MANY better tests, and they should be performed at Tick Specialty Labs. Igenex in CA, Medical Diagnotics Lab in NJ, or Stonybrook in NY...are the 3 I like the best. There is also Central FLorida research in FL.
Western blot test (WB)- Separates out proteins antigens of an organism you are looking for. It tells you if a person has been exposed. It is not a direct measurement of the organism. It is a measurement of whether the person has antibodies to it.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing detects the genetic material (DNA) of the Lyme disease bacteria. PCR testing may be useful for identifying a current (active) infection if you have arthritis that does not improve with antibiotic treatment. PCR testing is not done as frequently as antibody testing because it requires technical skill and expensive equipment. The PCR test is specific and sensitive. There are not as many false results with the PCR test. The PCR can be done on urine, whole blood, serum, CSF, miscellaneous (ex: Skin biopsy, breast milk, semen)
Skin culture-A skin culture evaluates a tissue sample for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It may take several weeks for test results to come back. For this reason, antibody testing is done more frequently than a tissue culture.
Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap) -Patients with neurological symptoms of Lyme disease may need to have a spinal tap in order to study “the blood of the brain,” the CSF (cerebral spinal fluid). These patients may have negative blood and urine tests and show positive results with CSF. The Western blot, LDA, and PCR can be performed on CSF.
Multiplex PCR- The standard PCR test is not always sensitive enough because of the very low numbers of organisms present. In addition, it is well known that the PCR sensitivity is reduced in the presence of inhibitors. Therefore, IGeneX has developed a nucleic acid-based Multiplex PCR diagnostic assay that simultaneously detects genomic and plasmid B.burgdorferi DNA in clinical samples.
****ALSO about 60% of Lyme patients are Co-infected with other Tick Borne Ilnesses so you need to be tested for Those too!