As with all pathology testing it is important that testing for lyme disease is performed in an accredited laboratory to reduce the risk of incorrect results. The most common lyme disease tests are indirect ones.
The two most used antibody tests are the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay elisa and the western blot.
How to get tested for lyme disease in australia. Lyme disease lyme borreliosis is a multisystem tick borne zoonosis caused by spirochaetes of the borrelia burgdorferi genospecies complex ticks with borrelia burgdorferi infection are found in temperate forested areas of northern asia and europe and north america. There are nine known lyme borrelia burgdorferi species specific western blot antibodies bands. At our perth clinic of advanced functional medicine we specialize in the testing as well as treatment of lyme disease.
Currently the most reliable laboratory test for lyme disease is a western blot. Immunoblots look for antibodies to these pathogens. In australia lyme disease has been detected in returned travellers who have acquired the infection while travelling.
They measure the patient s antibody response to the infection not the infection itself. Some non nata accredited laboratories in australia and overseas offer tests that claim to show lyme disease is relatively common in australia but australian expert microbiologists and pathologists recommend that testing be performed only in nata accredited laboratories where the testing has been assessed by strict criteria to assure that false positive and false negative results are minimised. Catch and test the tick.
Lyme disease is found in north america europe and asia particularly in cooler forested areas. Click the link in order to get full guide on lyme disease in australia. Where should i get blood testing for lyme disease.
Currently testing for lyme disease in australia is controversial. If you find one that s buried in your skin use fine tipped tweezers to pull it out. It is possible to test a tick for lyme disease.
Most pathology tests ordered by gp s are screened using the elisa method by the local laboratory who draws the blood. However some patients do not develop antibodies. However western blot testing is difficult to interpret.
Considering the estimate by the lyme disease association of australia over 200 000 people in australia are suffering from chronic lyme disease without a. 18 23 31 34 37 39 83 and 93. In australia there are no reported cases of locally acquired lyme disease.
Meanwhile dr shah recommends that australian patients whose doctors suspect a lyme like illness should be tested for both lyme disease and tick borne relapsing fever borrelia using the igenex immunoblot tests for the two groups. Grasp it as close to the skin as you can and pull it straight out.