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  • Questions on timing of Western Blot & tick attachment time length for transmission

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    Old 08-06-2005, 06:57 PM   #1
    freje
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    Questions on timing of Western Blot & tick attachment time length for transmission

    To any knowldegeable people (Ticker seems to be the biggie!!), I have two general questions about time factors. 1. Are there any known cases of Lyme developing from ticks that were attached less than 24 hours? 2. How long after transmission does it take for a Western Blot to show any positive results?
    More specifics about my situation: I don't really think I have Lyme, but I just want to be sure. I live in one of the big time endemic states, and my property borders woods where deer live, and I routinely have deer wandering in my yard. Around the week of June 20th, I spotted a tiny black dot on my upper leg, and sure enough, it was a darn tick about the size of a poppy seed. Definitely attached, but not engorged, and I estimate it was attached no more than 12-16 hours. About 1-2 weeks later, I spotted another on my abdomen, same scenario, not engorged. No bullseye rash, no fever, no joint aches, not even an allergic reaction at either of the bite sites. I've read the big long symptoms checklist. I don't feel sick per se, but I've been much more tired lately, and have some dizziness. I also have been having more episodes of floaters. However, I am on a diet and have decreased calorie intake (lost 30 lbs so far and still going strong), so the tiredness and dizziness could very well be explained by that. I also have hypothryoidism which is monitored regularly. Saw my GP recently for a previously scheduled general check-up, and since it was time for my every couple of years CBC bloodwork, he figured he'd add a Lyme test while he's at it, since I mentioned having been bitten twice recently. They do the Western Blot. So my labs were done last week, about 5 weeks after bite #1, and 3-4 weeks after bite #2. Didn't have the chance to get the specifics, but apparently the test came back negative. other labs fine too. (plan to ask for a copy anyway, just to read). I did have two separate one week courses of Amoxicillin due to a dental abscess, so I had figured, heck, even if I had any trace of Lyme, I'd have a chance at fighting it off!!
    Anyway-just looking for general opinions. I'm still more tired, but I'm certainly able to function normally, and again, the diet may explain this. Just want to make sure that enough time elapsed for antibodies to show up on the Western Blot, and even just double checking on tick attachment times. In other words, I am pretty sure I'm fine, but just given the highly endemic area I live in, one never knows for sure. Thanks for any input.

    Last edited by freje; 08-06-2005 at 06:59 PM.

     
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    Old 08-07-2005, 07:17 AM   #2
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    Re: Questions on timing of Western Blot & tick attachment time length for transmission

    Hi freje, welcome to the board!

    Tick attachment time is irrelevant. The tick that bit me was attached for three hours at most and it transmitted several diseases. Besides Lyme, ticks can transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected.

    I don't know the answer to your second question, but I can tell you that no Lyme test is completely reliable and some people who have Lyme test negative. It is important to have testing done at a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA.

    How did you remove the ticks you found? Did you save them? If so, they can be tested for disease. Although a bullseye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease, only about 50% of people who have Lyme get a rash. Lyme can cause many seemingly unrelated symptoms and it affects people differently. Many people do not get fevers or joint pain.

    Congratulations on your weight loss! If you have been losing weight for some time, I doubt the tiredness and dizziness is a result of that. Often people dismiss early symptoms(such as oh I am tired because I have been so busy, my neck hurts because I must have slept on it wrong etc.). If your symptoms occured after the tick bite, you really should consider Lyme as a possibility.

    People often can fight off a Lyme infection until their immune system becomes additionally stressed (illness, accident, divorce etc.). Then symptoms emerge. If I were you I would take this very seriously. If you do have Lyme, getting the proper treatment early in the infection may reduce the chance of long-term complications. Once the disease becomes chronic, it can be difficult to eradicate.

    When Lyme is a possibility, the most important thing you can do is see a Lyme knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and under-treat it. It is also important to be tested for the co-infections.

    If you post where you are located, I will give you the name of the closest knowledgeable doctor to you that I know of.

    Last edited by ticker; 08-07-2005 at 07:41 AM.

     
    Old 08-07-2005, 05:37 PM   #3
    freje
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    Re: Questions on timing of Western Blot & tick attachment time length for transmission

    Thanks for the input Ticker. I live in Southeastern PA, and I wouldn't mind having the name of a Lyme knowldegeable physician for refererence. Lyme is plenty prevalent here. My tiredness is definitely vague, because I'm tired at times anyway-but just seems a bit more than usual in the last month. And I'm also a little dizzy at times. I'll be curious to see what the Western Blot results specifically were. I have no idea what lab it was sent to. I'm sure if the tiredness continues, my GP would have no problem repeating a test, and if I requested Igenex, I think he'd sign the form no problem. My mother in law had Lyme several years ago-her one and only symptom was the bullseye-nothing else. She took a round of antibiotics and never had any further problems. She never felt tired or anything. So I know Lyme can manifest in different ways.
    Today, I am a little tired, but not as much as yesterday. (felt washed out kind of). It's so vague, because like I said, most anyone feels tired at times. The ticks were removed by tweezers, and I tried to save the second one, but dropped it and couldn't find it on the floor since it was so tiny. Anyway, I'll play this by ear.

     
    Old 08-08-2005, 07:18 PM   #4
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    Re: Questions on timing of Western Blot & tick attachment time length for transmission

    Hi freje. The only Lyme doctor in PA that I know of who comes highly recommended is Dr. Chandra Swami in Hermitage.

    If NJ is closer than Hermitage let me know. Good luck!

     
    Old 08-10-2005, 07:15 AM   #5
    freje
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    Re: Questions on timing of Western Blot & tick attachment time length for transmission

    Thanks Ticker! Hermitage is way too far, so if needed in the future, NJ would do if push came to shove.
    I have copies of all the bloodwork recently done on me, and the results reference proceedings of the 2nd Conf. on Lyme Disease, Dearborn, MI, 1994.
    (I would think there is a more recent reference than 1994!). For the ICG Western Blot it was looking for 5 or more significant bands, and all of mine were non-reactive.
    Likewise, with the IGM Western Blot, looking for 2 or more of the three significant bands, all three of mine were negative.
    As well, as I was negative for B. Burgodorferi AB.
    (no point in listing the band numbers-you know what they all are!!)
    I do actually feel much less tired, and in looking at my bloodwork, I did notice that my glucose level is a little lower than normal range (60). Perhaps that has something to do with the dizziness, which I'm still having on occasion.
    Nonetheless, I've read that Lyme antibodies do not always show up right on blood tests, and my second bite definitely I'm pretty sure was in fact the week of July 4th, so the Lyme tests were done 3 weeks after that bite. There is always the chance that an antibody reaction hasn't formed yet.
    So, if I still have concerns, I will definitely ask my doctor to repeat the tests just to be sure. Overall, I pretty much feel okay right now, but in the back of my head, my radar is up.

     
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