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Doctor insights on: Lyme Disease Inconclusive Test Results

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Dr. Randy Baker
644 Doctors shared insights

Lyme Disease (Definition)

A condition caused by borrelia burgdorferi. Acute symptoms can include bullseye rash, headaches, joint pain, fever, and flu-like sx. Chronic symptoms can include fibromyalgia symptoms, nerve pain in extremities, mood swings, brain fog, heart problems. Lab diagnoses are not very reliable, and sometimes clinical ...Read more


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Can you have Lyme disease and still have a negative test result on the western blot test?

Can you have Lyme disease and still have a negative test result on the western blot test?

Possible: Lab tests have false negatives and false positives. Each lab test result needs to be interpreted in the clinical context. A person may have infection with lyme disease and may not make appropriate antibody and have a negative test while the test is working properly.

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I had a blood test (Western Blot), to check for Lyme Disease. The results look strange (0.45). This doesn't look like the result of any WB test I have?

I had a blood test (Western Blot), to check for Lyme Disease. The results look strange (0.45). This doesn't look like the result of any WB test I have?

Probably not Lyme: Your Western Blot would need to be above 5 for a conclusive confirmation of Lyme disease. Unless you also had known tick bite, low-grade fever, "erythema migrants", you probably had a viral illness that should resolve on its own. Do discuss this with your primary medical provider or specialist if symptoms persist.

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Lyme disease ab plus reflex to igg, igm-wb blood test done today. How long for results and how accurate are they?

Lyme disease ab plus reflex to igg, igm-wb blood test done today. How long for results and how accurate are they?

About a week: The regular lyme test is specific but not very sensitive. There can be many reasons for a false positive result. If it is positive on the screening test it is then sent for the more sensitive western blot test. If the igm test is positive it could represent a recent exposure to lyme disease if the igg is positive it indicates a more distant orast exposure. If the igm is positive you should be eval.

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Could I test negative for Lyme disease but actually had it?

Only: If you recently been bitten by the tick, or where profoundly immunosuppressed.

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Low cd57 and Lyme disease? Are these tests some method of detecting Lyme disease?

Contorversial: Cd57 testing is a controversial way of trying to determine if someone has lyme disease. It is not widely accepted as accurate and most clinicians do not test for it.

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What is the single best test for Lyme disease?

What is the single best test for Lyme disease?

Possibly new culture: There are many tests for lyme, but none are totally reliable. The elisa test is positive in about half of those infected. The western blot test is positive in ~70% of cases, but most labs don't do a thorough enough version- I recommend igenex labs. Pcr tests are positive only ~20% of the time. A new test, a culture by advanced laboratory services may detect lyme in >80% of cases so may be best.

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What is the most reliable test for Lyme disease?

Western blot: The western blot test is the more sensitive test of blood. Other fluids, like joint fluid can be tested by a procedure called PCR to better determine presence of Lyme

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Is there a Lyme disease test?

Is there a Lyme disease test?

Yes: There are blood and cerbrospinal fluid tests that can be done to aid in the diagnosis of lyme disease. They must be interpreted carefully by experienced clinicians.

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What test do I need to check for Lyme disease?

What test do I need to check for Lyme disease?

Blood test and exam: Examination, history and routine lyme screening elisa test is recommended for diagnosis. Rash consistent with lyme is classic for diagnosis.

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Is it possible for a negative Lyme disease test to be wrong? I read online it's correct maybe 60% of the time....

About lab tests...: If a person does a lab test that is correct 60% of the time, that may mean the test result is incorrect 40% of the time. If a patient's symptoms and history are suggestive of Lyme disease, a Lyme disease positive test result will be more likely to be a true positive. If symptoms and history are NOT suggestive of Lyme disease, a positive test result has higher chances of being a false positive.

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Any special test for Lyme disease?

Any special test for Lyme disease?

ELISA/West blot.: The 2 main best tests, early or late, are elisa and western blot. Elisa or serology is used for screening for an antibody response to the b. Burgdorferi spirochete responsible for the disease, while the western blot is a specific test that makes sure the positive response is not a false positive, or a reaction to something else. Pcr, or polymerase chain reaction is another possible test.

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What are blood tests for Lyme disease?

What are blood tests for Lyme disease?

ELISA/West blot.: The 2 main tests are elisa and western blot. Elisa or serology is used for screening to see if there is an antibody response to the b. Burgdorferi spirochete responsible for the disease, while the western blot is a specific test that makes sure the positive response is to this and not a false positive, or a reaction to something else. Pcr, or polymerase chain reaction is another possible test.

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What's a reliable test for Lyme disease?

Western Blot Analysi: A western plot analysis which looks at at least 5 and sometimes 7 individual preciptins. You must have three positive for a definitive dx.

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What is the diagnostic test for Lyme disease?

What is the diagnostic test for Lyme disease?

Western blot & Elisa: The diagnosis is based on the history and physical and early the rash erythema chronicum migrans and immediate therapy is indicated The test your physician can do is to test for Borrelia Burgdorferi. You will have the Elisa test to screen and then the western blot tests for antigens from the Borrelia Burdorferi. Sometimes a PCR test can be used. You can discuss this with your physician.

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What is the diagnostic test for Lyme disease?

What is the diagnostic test for Lyme disease?

First: An ELISA blood test, if pos then Western Blood Test looking for at least 5 pos.

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How much would it take to get test for Lyme disease?

How much would it take to get test for Lyme disease?

Depends on the test: There are many tests for lyme- elisa, western blot, ifa, pcr, cultures. Testing can be expensive. If you have limited resources I advise the igg & IgM western blot from igenex- their test is more thorough & sensitive than other labs. It costs about $200. No single test totally proves or disproves if one has lyme- it is a clinical diagnosis, but the right tests are very helpful.