[ 03-08-2009, 08:45 PM: Message edited by: ThatColorGreen ]
Posted by lostgurl (Member # 19293) on :
Read it.. Seems SIMPLE eh? The ELISA has a flip coin analogy to it but this is explained in laymans terms and to the point. A test with 65% sensitivity isn't even acceptable for an HIV patient or ANY lab finding- another article that just leaves the whole truth out, but does 'hint' to saying it is clinical in the end with diagnositics.. thanks.. if I am way off, sorry, it's late, have been the advocate all day and my brain is toast:)
not true but it should be ...
Posted by bettyg (Member # 6147) on :
copying article here to read in larger, legible print for a neuro like me; will break up if necessary..bettyg
Formal name: Anti-borrelia burgdorferi IgM/IgG
The Test *********
How is it used? When is it ordered? What does the test result mean? Is there anything else I should know?
How is it used?
The test is used to determine if your blood has made antibodies to the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
The infection affects many body systems, and in many patients starts with a ``bulls-eye'' rash at the site of the bite, and flu-like symptoms.
The disease can progress and eventually cause a variety of chronic symptoms, including inflammation of the heart, arthritis, and central nervous system disease, including meningitis.
But because the symptoms of Lyme disease vary from person to person, and because antibodies to the bacterium do not appear until 3-6 weeks after the tick bite (although the skin lesion may appear within 3 to 30 days), the infection is difficult to diagnose.
At this point, a blood test can be used to detect levels of antibodies, immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG), that develop against the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.
This test, however, can also detect antibodies to other bacteria.
Therefore, if the test is positive, an additional test, called a Western Blot, is often required to confirm the presence of specific antibodies to the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Lastly, A DNA-based test based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) may also be done and is even more sensitive; it is used to detect the genetic material of the infecting bacteria.
Taken together, these tests will help your doctor confirm a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, your doctor will recommend appropriate treatment.
When is it ordered?
If you show the tell-tale sign of the tick bite and have recently been in an area with a large deer population, your doctor will probably diagnose you using these clinical findings.
If you don't have these clear signs but do have vague, confusing symptoms ranging from ``flu,'' numbness, and muscle and joint ache to arthritis, fatigue, and unexplained nerve or heart problems, your doctor may order these blood tests to see if you have Lyme disease.
What does the test result mean?
A healthy adult has no antibodies to the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.
If you test positive, you have been exposed to the bacterium and most likely have Lyme Disease.
If you test negative, you could still have the disease, but your antibody level is too low to detect.
In that case, your doctor will treat you according to your history and symptoms.
Is there anything else I should know?
Antibodies to the bacteria can stay in the blood for a long time; therefore if you have ever been infected with Borrelia burgdorferi previously, your blood test might still be positive, even though you may no longer have Lyme disease.
Borrelia burgdorferi belongs to a class of bacteria called spirochetes.
Other spirochete diseases (syphilis, leptospirosis) can cause false-positive results.
Antibiotics can interfere with the test results, so if you are being treated with antibiotics before being tested for Lyme disease, make sure your doctor knows.
1. What is the proper treatment for Lyme disease? 2. Can I do anything to protect myself from becoming infected? 3. How can I recognize the signs if I don't show the rash? 4. Are deer ticks the only way to get Lyme disease?
1. What is the proper treatment for Lyme disease?
Most patients with Lyme disease are treated with antibiotics.
2. Can I do anything to protect myself from becoming infected?
Yes. If you are in the woods or garden in tick-infested areas, avoid contact with the soil, leaves, and vegetation.
Wear closed shoes, light-colored clothing, and use insect repellant containing DEET.
Check your clothing and exposed skin frequently and remove ticks promptly.
Animals such as dogs, cats, horses, and cows can also carry the deer tick.
Check your pet often, particularly the head, neck, ears, and between the toes.
Use a tick repellent prescribed by your veterinarian.
3. How can I recognize the signs if I don't show the rash?
The rash appears in only about 50% of those infected. This rash may be the classic ``bull's eye,'' but may also be blotchy or red and may be confused with poison ivy, spider bites, or ringworm.
It may appear between a few days and a few weeks after being bitten and can disappear quickly.
If possible, take a picture of the rash to show your doctor, since the rash may be gone before you can get an appointment with him/her.
Other symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes.
Check with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms and cannot explain how you got them.
4. Are deer ticks the only way to get Lyme disease?
No. On the Pacific coast and in southeastern states, the black-legged tick also transmits Lyme disease.
This article was last reviewed on June 29, 2006.
lyme disease article from 06; oh i wish also it WERE this easy!!
you might mention the year & this is a lyme disease article & list the source in suject line.
just click on pencil to right of your name; good find! thanks
Posted by ThatColorGreen (Member # 16016) on :
"If you test negative, you could still have the disease, but your antibody level is too low to detect.
In that case, your doctor will treat you according to your history and symptoms." ---dont understand y more drs dont think more about that...
the whole article isnt all accurate, but its more than the typical md/do follows...