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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Florida lab claims to have superior Lyme disease test

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Author Topic: Florida lab claims to have superior Lyme disease test
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Florida lab claims to have superior Lyme disease test
Test, however, is non FDA-approved, and Dr. Tim Lepore is skeptical


A Florida laboratory facility maintains that for the last year it has been able to offer a blood test that specifically identifies whether a person is carrying the antigen or bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It is a test company principals claim is superior to the standard Western Blot test routinely run to search for antibodies that may appear after someone is exposed to the bacteria.

"The bacteria itself is extremely hard to find, which is why it has taken a year to get this test into use," said Thomas Long, President of Central Florida Research, Inc. based in Lake Alfred, Fla. Long contacted The Independent following its cover story on tick and Lyme disease published on Dec. 5.

"No one else in the United States has a test for the bacteria itself through blood processing. Florida is the only state to approve a test of this kind. Western Blot is sketchy in accuracy and not everyone hit with this bug creates antibodies," he said. "The benefit of this test is that it tells the doctor earlier and definitively if we see bacteria or not in the blood."

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about this testing method as Long, however.

"There are a number of bogus tests out there," said Nantucket physician Dr. Tim Lepore, who has treated scores of islanders with debilitating tickborne diseases. "This is not an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved test. And where is the test described in a referee [medical] journal?"

Long, standing by his laboratory's work, confirmed that the test is not FDA approved. While he also said no articles about the test have been published in medical editions, he noted that on January 1 the facility's medical director, Dr. Clifford Threlkeld, will be distributing a paper on the test for peer review.

At this time, the test, formally called Identification and Quantification of Borrelia Burgdorferi by Flow Cytometry, only indicates the presence of Lyme bacteria. Long said the lab is working on tests to show the presence of bacteria for babesiosis and ehrlichia that he anticipates will be ready to submit for state approval next spring.

Still, he said he has confidence in his facility's current clinical test as a means to spot Lyme bacteria infection in its earliest stages to allow treatment before the disease gains a foothold in a person's body.

The drawback to the test, said Long, is that it is not particularly effective in finding late phase Lyme after the bacteria has left the bloodstream and has entered tissue and spinal fluid. Generally, he said, the test is most useful when done between the time bacteria appears in the blood about a month after infection, when a patient shows potential disease symptoms, and up to three or four years after those occurrences.

Although the test is not FDA approved, Long said it has been measured against Western Blot and other methods to obtain its validity, and that any doctor from any state except New York State, which has different licensing laws, may contact the laboratory to arrange for blood tests to be run for the presence of Lyme.

"Nobody knows we're here," he said, explaining that the lab was founded 10 years ago as an outgrowth of work done by former hematologist Dr. Joanne Whitaker and until a year ago was known as Bowen Research.

Posts: 339 | From nowhere | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lymie tony z
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When this lab was under Dr Whitaker it WAS called Bowen lab.

Someone came on this website claiming he was Whitaker's son and that the test would be

approved in the comming months....this was sometime back in 05 or 06.

Well, this never happened.

I have first hand knowledge of this testing facility and have heard nothing about going

public with this test in order to gain FDA approval.

Previously this test was deemed not worth much because it claimed almost 90 some percent positive tests.

This could however have been due to the fact that the people going there to be tested WERE in FACT infected individuals.

Who is to say.

A more definitive test is definitely needed, especially in a state where the mainstream medicine community,

does'nt even recognize lyme disease as a viable, treatable disease. This, comming from

the, mainstream medical ducks who treat all of the snowbirds that filter down to Florida durring the winter months.

I would hazard a guess that over 80 percent of the snowbirds are from extremely endemic areas

of the northeastern and central United States. I find it, unconscionable, that the medical

community here in Florida refuses to recognize lyme disease and refuses to treat it with anything more than anti-depressants.

This has been my personal experience since moving down here in 2001.

I know of only two llmd's in Florida that are, for the most part, treating along ILADS guidelines.

I know of a heck of a lot more sick people that these doctors could be treating but because of

insurance companies, limit their practices to those who will pay cash or use certain insurance companies like medicare, for fear of prosecution.

I have gone to my congressman and representatives in Washington to back lyme disease bills but as yet they have done nothing.

I started telling these representatives in about 2001 or 02 when I arrived here.

The Billirakis family of father and son have done NOTHING to help the many constituents that migrate south for the winter months.

They have chosen to sit by on the sidelines and wait and see what happens so they can jump on

the bandwagon as, "Johnny Come Latelies", rather than taking a leadership role in a state that

houses(at least for the winter months), probably 90 percent infected visitors.

Yes it has been very frustrating.


I am not a doctor...opinions expressed are from personal experiences only and should never be viewed as coming from a healthcare provider. zman

Posts: 2527 | From safety harbor florida(origin Cleve., Ohio | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 14188

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hey pineapple just thought you might like their web its have friends who used this test with great results i am not to good on comouter but i see so much negative on testing i feel we need better testing and everyone talks FDA-CDC what do they know or dont want us to know i also see people talking about this lab and talk bout a Q-RIB test they have they dont even use it just thought youd like to know BB
Posts: 11 | From florida | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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