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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How long for IgM to turn negative?

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Author Topic: How long for IgM to turn negative?
yanivnaced
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I forget which one indicates active Lyme IgM or IgG?

Anyways, my wife's been treating with ABX for about 6 months now and just got back her blood work.

The good news is that all her coinfections have turned negative but her Lyme IgG and IgM are still positive with multiple bands.

Is it strange that there is still an indication of active Lyme infection in the bloodstream even after 6 months of continuous treatment?

When do the Ig's turn negative?

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disturbedme
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I've heard that it's IgM that's active/newer and IgG means an older infection.

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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yanivnaced
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I was hoping to hear inputs from others who have had their western blots repeated before and after a few months of treatment.

Is it uncommon for the IgM to remain positive after several months of ABX treatment?

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KS
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I am currently dealing with the same issue/question. I've been on treatment for 6 months and 2 weeks ago I had a Western Blot repeated. I still have a positive IgM (all 3 bands positive) and only 2 bands positive for IgG. These results are similar to the results I got 6 months ago. I've was showing symptoms for about 18 months. I've had the ELISA run a couple of times and all negative.

Spoke with a LLMD who felt this indicates I'm still actively infected. Spoke with a ID doctor who said I either was re-infected (to which I replied was impossible) or never had Lyme at all and instead have something that is cross-reacting with the test.

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adamm
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Someone-I think tailz- said they got a positive IgM decades

after contracting it.

Don't go by the tests. If you have the symptoms, you likely still

have the disease.

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Marz
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I just got the results of my second IgeneX test.

The first was taken 17 months before. It was IgM positive then with bands 18++, 31 IND, 39 IND, 41 ++, 66+, 83-93+

The reapeat just done was still positive IgM except the band 18 didn't show up this time. Otherwise, the other bands were the same exact results.

So, after 15 months of antibiotics I'm still positive, but a little less so.

I'm not sure what it means. I'm better but not back to normal.

Anyone have an IgeneX Lyme immunofluorescence assay (IFA) done? This is my first one and it was indeterminate at 1:40.

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yanivnaced
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From reading KS and Marz responses I see a pattern here.

For you guys it looks like the Western Blot did not significantly change over the course of treatment (IgG or IGM) - same for my wife. Although she has somewhat improved in symptoms since treatment.

Is it that some people's immune systems are still thinking there's Borrelia floating around the bloodstream (like in an acute/active situation) and hence the unchanged IgM? That has to be the case because I cannot agree that there are still active spirochetes floating through your blood vessels after several months of antibiotics coursing through the system. As for hidden cysts, that's a different story. But IgM measures immune response to spirochetes in the blood stream.

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Marz
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Could it be that the spirochetes came out of the cysts and back in the blood stream?

I was tested this time after being off of antibiotic for about a month and wonder if that's what happens?

Can't remember if it was a Dr Burrascano article that dealt with this.

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yanivnaced
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But what if you had the abx in you 24/7 for months on end? It makes no sense how a new active infection could spontaneously occur.

It would be interesting to see whether anybody who is asymptomatic or in remission has a positive IgM (or even several positive bands on the IgM).

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Marz
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Yanivnaced, go to Lymetoo's post at the top about Dr C's explanation of western blot.

Further down in the article in bold print is an explanation of how IgG and IgM in lyme is atypical of bacteria.

I can follow this as I read it--then it all turns to mush in my brain if I were to try to explain.

And I'm not sure if this is what you're really wondering about. (???)

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Munch
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Have you looked into hypercoagulation? 90% of borreliosis patients have it compared to only 5% of the population.

Bacteria can hide in excess fibrin out of reach of the immune system and Abx.

http://www.drcharlescrist.com/hypercoagulation.htm

http://www.hormoneandlongevitycenter.com/cfidsfibromyalgia/#10b

http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/health_hypercoagulation_ill.html

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yanivnaced
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Munch:
Thanks for the suggestion - that might be a possibility. That is the kind of constructive posting I like to receive and give.

The nurse, when drawing blood recently said that it does not look like she has coagulating blood - of course it's highly subjective to base it on a visual inspection.

She just started a herbal protocol with a naturopath - two of the herbs in the mix are Andrographis and Uncaria. Those do have blood thinning/anti-clot properties.

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painted turtle
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Hi Yanivaced,

My first Igenex western blot in July 2005 was very IgM positive (meeting and exceeding CDC criteria)and the IgG was 90% CDC criteria positively met.

In Oct of 2006, I did another western blot and most of the IgM bands were negative with a few indeterminite. However, I still had a great many symptoms. One lyme dr. I visited explained to me that this is not always necessarily a good sign because it indicates the spirochette has muted into cyst form and is therefore undetectable. The IgG bands all remained the same.

Another LLMD later discovered the hypercoagulation and the babesia.

While I was relieved to initially receive a positive test because it meant I finally knew what was wrong with me, this relief was short lived after I became cognizant of exactly how crazy and insane the politics of medicine is for this disease making, unbeknownst to me, actual treatment....more political than anything else.

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www.lymefire.blogspot.com

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mushroomman06
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4-12-07 18 +
23 +
28 +
30 +
39 +
41 +
45 +
58 +
66 +
93 +

7-24-07 18 +
23 -
28 +
30 -
39 +
41 +
45 +
58 +
66 +
93 +

10-25-07 18 +
23 -
28 +
30 +
39 +
41 +
45 -
58 +
66 -
93- -

Waiting on results of blood work taken on 12-26-07

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Geneal
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I think for me remission will be symptom free (I hope [Smile] )

I don't believe the infection to be entirely gone, but maybe in hiding or

Knocked down enough that my own immune system is sort of keeping it in check.

So, based on my very humble theory, a positive IgM Western Blot

As long as I am symptom free would indicate that I still have the infection,

But perhaps my immune system is currently handling it.

I believe EBV and CMV titers to work the same way, right?

Positive IgG for life if you've ever had the virus.

Positive IgM if it is current.

Whose to say the IgG is just a "dormant" infection waiting for it's time to shine.

I would treat and continue to treat based on symptoms no matter what

My incredibly accurate Western Blot says. [shake]

Hugs,

Geneal

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bpeck
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IgG antibody's are a different antibody class than IgM antibodies, and IgGs live longer in the body than do the IgM antibodies.

It's very possible to test positive on an western blot for Lyme and not be symptomatic.

I was dx with late stage untreated Lyme in 2002 by PCR. I was VERY symptomatic but my ELISA, and western Blots were not just overall negative at that time- but there were not ANY measurable antibodies at all against Lyme.

I had yearly Blots over the next 4 years- and as Lyme was killed - over time - my blots showed more and more positive bands. I think the only protein that wan't expressed at some time or another was 37 kDa.

So it's important to remember that these tests are measuring antibodies. An IgM's life-span is about 3 months- at which time they die out and an IgG is manufactured. IgGs can live a pretty long time. IgG antibodys against Lyme proteins have been known to live 2 years (and maybe longer).

Also:
WHen lyme has taken up residence in the body- it lives in the tissues NOT the blood. Antibodys can only be made when the pathogen (Lyme bacteria) is in the blood and the immune systems specialzed cells "see" it, then signal for the antibodies production.

That's why, when Lyme RE-emerges into the blood (maybe to travel to another organ or tissues after being dormant, on in other tissues) IgM antibodies (they're the early and quickly manufactures antibodies) spike once again and can be measured by a western blot ( or ELISA screening ).

And also- sometimes the bacteria retreats out of the blood before IgG can be manufactured...


Hope this helps.
Barb

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map1131
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This is how it's been for me. July '99 illness took over my body, '98 was early symptoms I didn't figure this out until some 3 yrs ago.

Dr put me on abx 10 days into the summer '99 illness. Took abx and combos of abx for 2 mths.

Doc couldn't figure out why I wasn't improving with early lyme. Two lyme ELISHA negatives from this lab. Ran Epstein Barr Virus. Positive and he said not lyme, it's EBV. No abx needed. Recent infection of this virus. Rest to recover. Didn't happen.

No abx for 2 mths. Went back to doc 2 mths later with over 40 symptoms of lyme. Doc said I was afraid it was lyme and it isn't early now. It's chronic.

More abx from Nov 99 to April '02. Biaxin, so many others I can't remember. I would change every 3-4 months because my bacteria would build up resistence to abx during that period.

Finally in March '02 and no positive lyme western blot, my doc agreed to put me on IV rocephin. Did 6 weeks which insurance company agreed to. Big Bucks for them. Off IV for 2 weeks completely. Then...

April 22 '02 first visit to LLMD, 8 hr drive away from me. My husband drives me and we spend the night in this town. My Igenex Western Blot IgM was highly positive.

8 bands were + or ++ or +++
3 bands were +/-
5 bands were -


The lab Igenex apparently flubbed my IgG, LLMD said it shows all -'s negatives. No way with IgM so highly positive. But it didn't matter, my IgM was CDC positive and I had classic lyme & company for years by then.

This LLMD says that he sees more long term chronic and acute cases with positive IgMs than the medical community saying long infections should show a positive IgG. They don't really know lyme & company like a LLMD that's been looking at Western Blots for years.

I've had lyme test once since '02 and that lab which wouldn't know lyme & company (usually/rarely) if it bite them in the butt. They aren't a vector borne illness lab looking a lyme & company every day.

I would hope today, over 7 yrs later that I still have lyme antibodies in my blood. If my body isn't producing antibodies to the lyme bacteria I am in deep doodoo.

I don't know if IgMs do turn negative? I haven't experienced it yet, so maybe someone else can say it does happen. May do another Igenex soon myself to see if any change.

Pam

[ 09. January 2008, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: map1131 ]

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"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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