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?
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.
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.
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).