9 doctors weighed in:
What is the best Lyme disease test? I've had the basic blood test done, came back negative, but is there a more thorough test to rule it out?
9 doctors weighed in

Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine
6 doctors agree
In brief: Thorough WesternBlot
The screen many doctors use, the elisa, only detects about half of those with lyme.
A much more sensitive and specific test is the western blot, but i strongly advise doing this through ignenex in palo alto, a specialty lab, as the test offered by most other labs does not include tests for antibodies to the 31 & 34 kda antigens, which are the most specific antigens for lyme! please see my comment.

In brief: Thorough WesternBlot
The screen many doctors use, the elisa, only detects about half of those with lyme.
A much more sensitive and specific test is the western blot, but i strongly advise doing this through ignenex in palo alto, a specialty lab, as the test offered by most other labs does not include tests for antibodies to the 31 & 34 kda antigens, which are the most specific antigens for lyme! please see my comment.
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Randy Baker
For a discussion of one key difference between IgeneX and standard Western Blots see http://www.prohealth.com/me-cfs/blog/boardDetail.cfm?id=1157982 There are other reasons why the IgeneX test is better. See http://www.igenex.com/innovations3.pdf
Dr. Randy Baker
Even a good Western Blot is not always positive. A thorough discussion of the challenges of diagnosis by a leading expert: http://www.lymenet.org/BurrGuide200810.pdf And a new test to consider: http://www.researchednutritionals.com/information.cfm?id=255
Dr. Joseph Woods
Pathology
2 doctors agree
In brief: ELISAWestern blot.
The 2 most widely used tests are western blot and elisa.
The sensitive elisa test is done first, and if it is positive or equivocal, then the specific western blot is run.The western blot has a specificity of 94-96% in patients with early lyme disease. Elisa is 70% sensitive initially, though it can be 100% in patients with disseminated disease. This is the best of a lot of unreliable tests.

In brief: ELISAWestern blot.
The 2 most widely used tests are western blot and elisa.
The sensitive elisa test is done first, and if it is positive or equivocal, then the specific western blot is run.The western blot has a specificity of 94-96% in patients with early lyme disease. Elisa is 70% sensitive initially, though it can be 100% in patients with disseminated disease. This is the best of a lot of unreliable tests.
Dr. Joseph Woods
Dr. Joseph Woods
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Joseph Woods
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be done, but can have false positive results. A new test, LTT-MELISA has been developed, but is unproven at this time.
Dr. Martin Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
2 doctors agree
In brief: Need more info.
Why do you think you have lyme disease? When was the test done relative to tick exposure? It takes 2-4 weeks for antibodies to form, which is why lyme disease is often a clinical diagnosis which may be confirmed only later with testing.
The antibody screening test for lyme has a high sensitivity (picks up almost all cases) but lower specificity (non-lyme cases may be positive).

In brief: Need more info.
Why do you think you have lyme disease? When was the test done relative to tick exposure? It takes 2-4 weeks for antibodies to form, which is why lyme disease is often a clinical diagnosis which may be confirmed only later with testing.
The antibody screening test for lyme has a high sensitivity (picks up almost all cases) but lower specificity (non-lyme cases may be positive).
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
24 years in practice
67M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors