Lyme Disease Testing
Lyme disease is a complicated disease to diagnose. Sometimes the tests come out false positive or false negative. If your test comes out negative, you might still have Lyme disease.
There are lots of reasons for a false negative in a blood test for Lyme disease. The blood work that is done for this disease tests for antibodies against the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. If the antibodies are present in your body you will be diagnosed for Lyme disease. If they are not present, the test is negative. That’s right, Negative! So you could go for years having Lyme disease and not even knowing it. That’s what happened to me. When I had depersonalization and wasn’t experiencing any physical symptoms of Lyme disease, I got tested for Lyme and my test came out negative. When I got tested again months later, it came out positive!
There are a few reasons for having a test come out negative when it should have been positive for Lyme disease:
- You have taken antibiotics recently.
- The antibodies for Lyme disease are undetectable amounts in your blood.
- You have taken anti-inflammatory drugs recently.
- Your immune system is not reacting to the bacteria and in turn not producing the antibodies.
- The bacteria have changed in their makeup and your body’s immune system does not recognize this and does not produce antibodies.
Here are some other reasons Lyme disease is so complicated to diagnose:
- Fewer than 50 percent of Lyme disease patients recall a tick bite or rash.
- Sometimes people don’t get symptoms for years after they are bitten, so they don’t realize they are infected.
- Lyme disease is greatly complicated by dozens of co-infections such as Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Mycoplasma, Relapsing Fever, HHV6 and many more.
- Lyme spirochetes can penetrate the central nervous system within 24 hours of a tick bite according to Dr. Coyle at Stony Brook University.
- A 1998 Swiss study showed that only 12.5 percent of Borrelia burgdorferi positive patients had symptoms.
Below is a list of reliable laboratories for Lyme disease testing.
Be sure to ask your LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) about obtaining a test from these labs and make sure you are also tested for co-infections.
797 San Antonio Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA
Tel. 650.424.1191 / 800.832.3200 Fax. 650.424.1196
Laboratory for the diagnosis of Lyme disease
University Medical Center
Level 3 Room 701
State University of New York
Stony Brook, NY 11794-7305
AVOID the “in house” spin on Lyme. Be sure to include the direction “PLEASE REPORT ALL BANDS, INCLUDING CDC NON-SPECIFIC BANDS.”
MDL Medical Diagnostic Laboratories
East Gate Business Center
133 Gaither Drive, Suite C MT.
Laurel, NJ (877) 269-0090
Central Florida Research, Inc.
Important New Tests:
CD-57.Research breakthroughs by Dr. Joseph Burrascano and Dr. Ray Stricker, Directors of ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) and long-time medical practitioners,, have shown a correlation between the CD-57 fighter cells and Lyme disease.
Call LabCorp at 1-800-888-1113. Ask for LabCorp Test # 505026, HNK (CD57) panel. As an alternative, contact Clinical Pathology Labs at 1-800-595-1275. Ask for Test # 4885, CD57 Panel for Lyme disease
PCR. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique widely used in molecular biology, and is part of the Western Blot. However, there are many other sensitive PCR tests that can be used to identify infectious diseases including Chlamydia Pneumoniae, Secondary Porphyria and other co-infections.
Immunoserology. Immunosciences Lab is now providing a series of panels, which appear to be more sensitive than the Western Blot, and test for more sub-species antibodies and co-infections. Time will tell whether or not these panels will be helpful. For more information see
Another new test called VCS delivered by Dr. Shoemaker. Read about it here:
Related Lyme Disease Info Pages:
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