Lyme Disease Testing


One reason why Lyme is usually undiagnosed or misdiagnosed is because the testing is inaccurate.  If you go to a regular doctor they will probably do the ELISA blood test which is a huge problem because it produces over 60% false negative.  So if you don’t see a Lyme Literate MD (LLMD) your doctor will rely on this test and assume you do not have Lyme.   So here is what I am learning:


Doctors that are lyme literate will use different labs to test patients.  Some use Igenex or  DNA Connextions.  Great thing about both is you can order them yourself.  DNA Connextions is a urine PCR test and Igenix is a blood draw.

DNA Connexions 

DNA Connexions uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology.  The Lyme panel is a urine test testing for the actual DNA of the organisms. According to their website they test for the following.

  1. Anaplasma phagocytophilium
  2. Borrelia burgdorferi
  3. Babesia divergens
  4. Bartonella bacilliformis
  5. Ehrlichia chaffeensis
  6. Borrelia recurrentis
  7. Borrelia miyamotoi
  8. Babesia duncani
  9. Bartonella henselae
  10. Babesia microti
  11. Bartonella quintana

That’s a pretty good list.  It is a $50 deposit and $425 when you mail in the sample.  Doubtful your insurance would cover it since you don’t need a doctors order to do it.  But that is A LOT cheaper than the first IGENEX testing I did.  If you decide to do this you have to exercise for 30 minutes before or get a deep tissue massage.  That’s hard for us Lymies to do that but exercise and deep massage can cause herxing, which means we will feel sicker after.  It was the only test that confirmed Bartonella and Borellia in me.

Here is a great interview of Dr. Douglas at DNA Connections by The Better Health Guy According to Dr. Douglas the testing is showing 83% positive for some infection and 17% negatives. The reason I like this is because it’s testing DNA not an antibody test.  If you don’t produce antibodies to these infections then you can get a false negative. 

IGENEX TESTING The Igenex lab is in Palo Alto, California.  They will usually run the Western Blot and tests for co-infections because most everyone with Lyme Disease also has co-infections.  You can order test kits yourself.  I did Igenex through my first LLMD.

The results will be shown as IgM and IgG,.  It is an antibody test.  Here is the breakdown of the Bands from mdjunction.com:

“IgM is a sign of a current infection.

IgG can be a sign of a current infection if symptomatic, or of a past exposure to or past infection by the organism.”

“Only one of these Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) genus specie specific bands is needed to confirm that there is serological evidence of exposure to the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete and can confirm a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease. 

9 cross-reactive for Borrellia

12 specific for Bb 

18 highly specific to Lyme (Many LLMD’s say if this band alone is positive, you have lyme )

20 cross-reactive for Borrellia

21 unknown

22 specific for Bb, probably really the 23/25 band

23-25 outer surface protein C (OspC), specific for Bb

28 unknown

30 unknown; probably an outer surface protein; common in European and one California strain – Has cross-reactivity with several different types of viruses

31 outer surface protein A (OspA), specific for Bb – Has cross-reactivity with several different types of viruses

34 outer surface protein B (Osp; specific for Bb

35 specific for Bb

37 specific for Bb

38 cross-reactive for Bb

39 is a major protein of Bb flagellin; specific for Bb

41 flagellin protein of all spirochetes; this is usually the first to appear after a spirochete infection but is NOT specific to Lyme (i.e, other spirochete diseases have flagellas)

45 cross-reactive for all Borellia

50 cross-reactive for all Borrellia

55 cross-reactive for all Borrellia

57 cross-reactive for all Borrellia

58 unknown but may be a heat-shock Bb protein

60 cross reactive for all Borrellia

66 cross-reactive for all Borrelia, common in all bacteria

83 specific antigen for the Lyme bacterium, probably a cytoplasmic membrane

93 unknown, probably the same protein in band 83, just migrates differently in some patients”


Here are my results:

January 2016

October 2015

IgM Bands (Current Infection)

18

+

31

Indeterminate

Indeterminate

39

Indeterminate

41

+

+

58

+

+

January 2016

October 2015

IgG Bands

18

31

Indeterminate

39

Indeterminate

41

++

Indeterminate

58

 


So for me:  18 highly specific to Lyme, 31 outer surface protein A (OspA), 39 is a major protein of Bb flagellin; specific for Bb,41 flagellin protein of all spirochetes and 58 unknown but may be a heat-shock Bb protein.

The CDC positive is different than LLMD’s positive.  The CDC changed the case definition so less people test positive for Lyme.  See Truth Cures  It’s all about money for those with ties to big pharma.  The CDC requires at least 5 of these bands (18, 23-25, 28, 30, 39, 41, 45, 58, 66, 83-93) to be CDC positive for Lyme Disease.  So I would not be considered CDC positive, but as mentioned above I have bands that are highly specific to Lyme.  


I think either test you do you definitely should follow up with a lyme literate doctor MD our ND) to discuss.  Since the testing is so inaccurate you can be diagnosed with Lyme with a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms and medical history.

I think DNA Connexions is a great option if you know someone that you suspect has Lyme.  Many of us  know people who we highly suspect have it.  So it’s a good option because it’s easy to do home testing and it’s cheaper if they can’t afford to see an LLMD.

But remember none of these tests are not 100% accurate and a negative result does not mean you do not have Lyme Disease.


Here are a few links for more info on testing.

Lymedisease.org

Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Symptom Chart