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Diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis: What can distort the results?

Diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis: What can distort the results? Borreliosis most of us associate with a round red patch at the point of tick attachment. In some cases, however, the disease occurs without any skin symptoms. How is borreliosis diagnosed?

Confirming the suspicion of Lyme borreliosis by blood tests has various pitfalls. Commonly used methods are inaccurate in some cases, and although the check indicates a negative result, the patient may be infected. The so-called False negative results have up to 30% of patients. What are the causes?
Blood tests were done too soon after the infection, and antibodies were not yet produced in the body.
The patient was infected with a strain of Borrelia that can not be detected by the tests .
The immune system does not respond to infection by the production of antibodies , the blood tests and the borreliosis can not be confirmed.

Two-step testing

The two most commonly used blood tests - ELISA and Western Blot - are indirect methods. It evaluates the presence of antibodies, not the infection itself. Some experts recommend that you first perform a simple ELISA test and then proceed to Western Blot according to its results. Others claim that it is more appropriate to conduct a Western Blot test. More than half of patients in the chronic stage of the disease have negative results in the ELISA, while Western Blot confirms positivity.


No guarantee

However, inaccuracies may be accompanied by a Western Blot blood test. Different laboratories use different methods and criteria for processing and evaluating blood samples. One workplace may have a positive finding, while another laboratory will have negative results. Generally, the tests have significance at the earliest 4-6 weeks after infection, in order to create antibodies in the body. However, the exact procedure is determined by the physician based on the patient's condition and on the basis of symptoms and difficulties.


What does the infection confirm?

Blood PCR test. It is considered to be quite accurate if there is borrelia DNA in the blood. But here too, there are a number of false negative results.
Cultivation. It is on special material in the laboratory, but in the case of borrelia it is very difficult.
Examination of cerebrospinal fluid . It investigates the level of antibodies and proteins in this body fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord.

Although Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, prevention remains the best measure. So, especially thorough protection against ticks and their removal as soon as possible after squeezing.



Source: Klíšťová encefalitida.cz



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