How accurate is Lyme disease western blot?

High disease area? The Western Blot is the 2nd (after the ELISA) in a 2-step process. An individual in an area where Lyme disease is common & with high exposure to Lyme-disease carrying tick bite who has been bitten by an engorged tick is highly likely to have Lyme disease if these tests are positive. Without these risk factors, a positive test could be falsely positive.
Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is known to inhibit the immune system and twenty to thirty percent of patients have falsely negative antibody tests. Lyme disease has always been a challenge to accurately diagnose in ALL patients with labs. It has to be correlated clinically as there are many false negatives and cases that slip through our fingers.

Related Questions

How accurate is the cdc two tier testing for lyme disease after being infected for around 6-7 months? Also does the western blot detect co infections?

Lyme disease test. 18 M asks: How accurate is the cdc two tier testing for lyme disease after being infected for around 6-7 months? Also does the western blot detect co infections? ANS:Go to CDC site for details on accuracy of test. Best to discuss with your team as can be a complex issue.

Can a positive Lyme disease western blot strip test be mistaken for another disease?

Yes! No lab test is perfect, including the westen blot for lyme. There is an approximately 4% chance of a positive being a "false positive" test. There is also an approximately 20% chance of false negatives, someone with lyme not having a positive western blot. This is why lyme is ultimately a clinical diagnosis, with labs used to support a diagnosis. Other tests may also be useful. Please see comment:.

Why would my lyme disease western blot test show 4 igg bands as reactive? Could this mean I have the disease? None of the igm bands were reactive.

Not necessarily. IgM antibody means recent infection. IgG antibody usually means remote infection. You may not have the disease, just that you may have been infected at one time.

Please tell me, is western blot good in diagnosing Lyme disease?

Not great. But it is used to diagnoses lyme disease as it is one of the better tests we have. The cdc recently stated it believes lyme infections are about ten times higher than predicted due to false negatives related to current testing. Hope that helps!

How can someone test positive for two Lyme-specific bands on western blot and NOT have been exposed to Lyme disease? What is magic about 5 bands?

Predictive value. Tests always have to be evaluated as to their predictive value both + and -. There are findings that are falsely +, and truly +, findings that are truly -, and falsely -. A good doctor will know which are the good results that he can rely upon and the bad ones that he can discard. That is what is known as great clinical judgment. When you find someone with it, stay with him!
Immune complexities. Lyme disease is caused by a certain type of bacteria called a 'spirochete'- they are a whole class actually of bacteria and believe it or not can be found commonly in the mouth or elsewhere in the environment. You have to reach a certain 'threshold' with Lyme testing because there could be some cross-reactivity coming from these other types of bacteria. The immune system is extraordinarily complex.

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.

Tested positive for Lyme disease IgM but my western blot test came back negtive?

Then it's not Lyme. Lyme disease can be tricky -and you want to make sure you see someone like an Infectious Diseases doctor who knows how to treat it. The diagnosis is actually based on clinical findings, and the lab testing is generally 'supportive'. Since you're Western blot is negative, then it's very unlikely you have Lyme. There are other diseases that could cause 'Lyme-like' symptoms -and good to get evaluated.

With lyme disease you have ELISA and western blot but what if you tested ELISA negative is Lyme disease impossible? Or wise to do western blot?

Lyme blood test. In early Lyme Disease Elisa can be negative. No use testing Western Blot if Elisa is negative. Follow patient clinically and if symptoms of Lyme disease occur re-test Elisa.