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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Lyme test false positives

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Author Topic: Lyme test false positives
BackinStOlaf
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Except from Dr. S's book


"Acute and Chronic Virus Infections

Often patients who are chronically ill and who test negative for Lyme and other coinfections are suffering from chronic viral infection. There are well-documented times when viral infections have been known to cause ``false positive'' Lyme antibody tests. For this reason, I recommend that chronic viruses be considered as possible offenders when one is undergoing evaluation for tick-borne illnesses. There are several common culprits that may require testing, including the following:

-West Nile virus

-Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

-Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

-Herpes zoster virus (HZV)

-Herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1)

-Herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2)

-Human herpes virus 6 (HHV6)

-Parvovirus B19

-Colorado tick fever

-Powassan encephalitis

-Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Western equine encephalitis (WEE)--these should be suspected in cases where meningitis is suspected.

-HIV

-Hepatitis viruses--B and C "


So, is it possible some of use with positive tests don't even have Lyme?
holy moly

And even if you test positive for these viruses, how can you know they are mutually exclusive from Lyme. Maybe you have all of them? how would you know you had a false positive?

--------------------
First Symptom 9/09
Multiple docs, negative Labcorp test
LLMD: 1/10
Positive Igenex/CDC test
Treatment 2/10
2/10-8/10 Amox, ceftin, zith, flagyl
Currently: Bicillin, Minocycline, still dealing with severe breathing issues

 -

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sutherngrl
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I don't buy into false positives. Except maybe on one of 2 bands.

I had bands 41 and 23 IGM, which is CDC positive and I don't buy that that could be a false positive.

If the body makes an antibody to a part of the spirochete then that pretty much says it all to me. Your body is not going to make antibodies to something that is not there.

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JT's Mom
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What's the name of the book?
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JT's Mom
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I absolutely think there can be false positives, especially on the IGM. IGeneX even states this on their results.

If you have any of the above named viruses (and possibly others), these viruses cross-react at certain bands... meaning they will cause a reaction at certain bands that can't be distinguished from a borrelia-induced reaction.

That's why it's important to conduct thorough diagnostic testing and investigate all possibilities before settling on a Lyme diagnosis. You don't want to go down this path if you don't have to.

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onbam
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They also state a what, 99% specificity? Which would mean only one out a hundred positives would be false.
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sixgoofykids
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IGeneX has a band 30/31 confirmation test to rule out cross-reaction with viruses. Yes, it's a clinical diagnosis, that's what's so challenging .... trying to figure out Lyme, coinfections, parasites, viruses, heavy metals, mold exposure, etc.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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BackinStOlaf
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http://www.lymebook.com/chronic-lyme-testing-and-diagnosis

--------------------
First Symptom 9/09
Multiple docs, negative Labcorp test
LLMD: 1/10
Positive Igenex/CDC test
Treatment 2/10
2/10-8/10 Amox, ceftin, zith, flagyl
Currently: Bicillin, Minocycline, still dealing with severe breathing issues

 -

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Sophie1234
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And, if you also have positive coinfection tests I would think that would make it even more clear it is lyme. Just my opinion.
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LightAtTheEnd
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If you have Lyme symptoms, especially if you had a tick bite and/or an EM rash, and then you test positive for Lyme, you have Lyme. (Just my nonmedical opinion.)

If you have Lyme, you are likely to have assorted active viruses too.

Finding evidence of one or the other does not rule out the other one. And a positive test confirms, in the presence of symptoms, that you are sick with SOMETHING.

ID ducks often claim "false positive" in order to say "You aren't really sick."

With an LLMD, you should be able to get into specifics to try to find out just exactly which infections are bothering you at the time.

If you have no symptoms at all and no tick bite or rash and no probable exposure to ticks, but for some reason have a Lyme test that comes out positive, then it might be more questionable. And if you did have Lyme antibodies but were not sick, you wouldn't need treatment, since the goal of treatment is to get rid of the symptoms.

False negatives are VERY common in people who DO have Lyme. False positives are the rare ones.

--------------------
Don't forget to laugh! And when you're going through hell, keep going!

Bitten 5/25/2009 in Perry County, Indiana. Diagnosed by LLMD 12/2/2009.

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lululymemom
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I think it's entirely possible to have a false positive Western Blot. Certain viruses never leave the body and surely would influence the results. It is possible to have something like Bartonella without Lyme disease.

I'm questioning this right now because my daughter had the Fifth disease (parvovirus) as as child as well as EBV (mononucleosis) Even though Mr. H at Igenex says that her earlier bout with EBV would not influence this, why would it say so on her WB test?

She has all the symptoms of Bartonella with no typical Lyme symptoms.

--------------------
IGM 41 IND, 83-93+ IGG 31 IND,34 IND, 41++, 58+, 83-93 IND

31 Epitope test neg.

Bartonella henselae 1:100

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mcg08002
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I honestly do not believe in False Positives. You're body doesn't react to something it doesn't have. It wouldn't show you reacting to tons of Lyme bands if you didn't have it. ;-)

False Neg's are Soooooo common i have learned. It really just depends on how surpressed your immune system and how many antibodies it is producing. I was lucky and was CDC positive. My results are in my signiture.

--------------------
Stephanie, University Student.

Ehrlichia [POSITIVE]
IGG/IGM AB [H] 1.49
indexLyme AB interp. EIA [A] POSITIVE
IGG P93 AB [PRESENT]
IGG P41 AB [PRESENT]
IGM P41 AB [PRESENT]
IGM P23 AB [PRESENT]
Lyme IGM WB interp. [A] [PRESENT]

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Lymetoo
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Dr C's Western Blot explanation:

http://tinyurl.com/ffn3x

I'll be back with the excerpt on false positives from the above link.

This was written around 1999 or 2000:

"Medical literature is replete with statements about false positive test results for Lyme borreliosis. Since 1988, I have diagnosed and treated well over 600 borreliosis patients. Only 2 of those patients with a positive borreliosis test did not respond to antibiotics. This is a 99% success rate!

So in the trenches of day-to-day medical practice, false positive borreliosis tests are not an issue. In retrospect, those 2 patients that did not respond to antibiotics may have also had babesiosis.

In my practice, many borreliosis patients also have babesiosis, another tick-borne infection that causes the same symptoms as Lyme borreliosis.

Babesiosis is caused by a protozoa, which is a different germ type than a bacteria, virus, fungus or yeast.

The placebo effect would not explain a 99% response rate. Those borreliosis associated antibodies should not be there, in patients with symptoms.

A placebo is like a sugar pill, that has no effect. A placebo effect occurs because patients believe in the pill they are taking, even though it is a sugar pill. The human mind causes the response. Placebo effects should more likely be about 20-30%, not a 99% response rate.

False negative test results are the real problem in diagnosing borreliosis. Research has shown that you have to do the right test (the Western blot), done at the right laboratory (one that specializes in testing borreliosis), and done the correct way (shipped express delivery early in the week)."

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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lululymemom
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There is also a disclaimer on all Igenex Western Blots that states Lyme disease should not be diagnosed on lab tests alone. That a clinical diagnosis is also necessary.

Anyone without a tick bite or ever felt that they weren't exposed to them should present with Lyme symptoms to be sure that is what they have.

--------------------
IGM 41 IND, 83-93+ IGG 31 IND,34 IND, 41++, 58+, 83-93 IND

31 Epitope test neg.

Bartonella henselae 1:100

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bcb1200
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I think this CAN happen, but it is rare. Remember that certain bands on the western blot, particularly 31, 34 and 83/93 are highly specific for lyme. 83/93 are Bb DNA. Nothing else can duplicate that.

--------------------
Bite date ?
2/10 symptoms began
5/10 dx'd, after 3 months numerous test and doctors

IgM Igenex +/CDC +
+ 23/25, 30, 31, 34, 41, 83/93

Currently on:

Currently at around 80% +/- most days.

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Lymetoo
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39 also

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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lululymemom
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I agree, but it indicates exposure only..

--------------------
IGM 41 IND, 83-93+ IGG 31 IND,34 IND, 41++, 58+, 83-93 IND

31 Epitope test neg.

Bartonella henselae 1:100

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tmcm
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Exposure yes and in the presence of clinical symptoms, shouldn't you treat and follow outcomes? Otherwise what do we do? I have a wife and 2 kids who show positive bands on the WB and all have symptoms of Lyme. I fear the greater risk of not treating them, especially my wife who has so many neuro symptoms.
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lululymemom
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Absolutely, if a clinical diagnosis confirms the test results then it would only be prudent to begin treatment. However, I think that a person with a Co-infection and not Lyme(such as Bartonella) may still have a positive Western Blot. This is something I am looking into right now especially after never having a bite or seeing a rash but being exposed to fleas at one time.

--------------------
IGM 41 IND, 83-93+ IGG 31 IND,34 IND, 41++, 58+, 83-93 IND

31 Epitope test neg.

Bartonella henselae 1:100

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