We all suffer from tick related problems in some point of our lives. Lyme disease is also one such problem. It can be serious in some cases but can be cured with early diagnosis. So here is a list of tests that can help in treating Lyme disease.
List Of Tests For Lyme Disease
If the doctor thinks that you are suffering from Lyme disease he may recommend you to have a thorough physical examination. This will be followed by an examination of your family medical records.
Antibody test is the most common test for detecting Lyme disease. The purpose behind this test is to detect the presence of antibodies for the Lyme disease causing bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi in your blood. It is done by drawing fluids from your spine or joints. An antibody test is of three types which are Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or ELISA, Indirect fluorescent antibody or IFA and Western blot test.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or ELISA
This is the most sensitive immune test for detecting the antibodies for Lyme disease. This test helps to check if the disease has been acquired newly or was present before.
This test is termed sensitive in the sense that it will generate a positive result for all almost all patients suspected of carrying the antibodies. In case the test comes out to be positive or is indeterminate a second test needs to be performed to confirm the positivity.
Indirect fluorescent antibody or IFA
You can also go for the Indirect fluorescent antibody or IFA test in case the ELISA test cannot be performed. It will also o generate results like the ELISA test. When you have a positive result from either of the test you can go for the Western blot test for the final confirmation.
Western blot Test
The western blot test will give you specific result. That means if it indicates positive report it will mean that the person has been truly infected with the Lyme bacteria. Western blot test is of two types- IgM western blot and IgG western blot. A positive IgM western blot test will indicate that the person has been exposed to the disease recently.
IgG test will confirm that the person has had a previous exposure and developed antibodies but there is no e infection of the disease presently. You need to be careful while taking these tests as you can have a positive but a false test report. So always consult your physician for any report.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test
This test will check the DNA of the Lyme bacteria in the blood. This test will help to identify the infection if acquired that has not been cured with the help of antibiotics.
This test is mostly used for the patients who have neurological symptoms or Lyme arthritis. The test is performed by collecting spinal fluid from your lumbar puncture or spinal tap or the synovial fluid. This is collected from an affected joint.
In this test a tissue sample for the Lyme bacteria is tested. It is very time consuming so the antibody test is performed.
Apart from these there are also some tests such as cerebrospinal fluid test, immunofluorescent staining and lymphocyte transformation tests. These tests can be performed but are generally not recommended by the physicians because of their lack of validity.