Easily Test for Lyme Disease At Home
- IgM/IgG Reactivity to 3 Lyme Disease Bacteria
Lyme disease is caused by an infection from Borrelia bacteria. Your body makes IgG and IgM antibodies in response to infection. IgM antibodies indicate a recent exposure, while IgG antibodies develop over time after initial exposure.
Where Lyme Disease Occurs
In the United States, Lyme disease typically occurs in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and North Central states. It has also been reported to occur in Northern California. The prevalent (most common) strain causing Lyme Disease in the United States is Borrelia burgdorferi.
If you live or have traveled to a state where Lyme disease is endemic, this substantially increases your risk. Lyme disease is endemic in the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. For regulatory reasons, EverlyWell is not able to offer testing in New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island.
Lyme Disease in Europe and Asia
Lyme disease can also occur in Europe and Asia, where Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii are most commonly found.
Ticks infected with Lyme disease bacteria can be found in woodlands across the European continent from northern Turkey to northern Sweden. However, Lyme disease is considered endemic in central Europe, where the following countries have the highest tick infection rates: Austria, Czech Republic, southern Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In Europe, Lyme disease is primarily transmitted by the castor bean tick.
Lyme disease has been reported throughout Asia, as well, such as in Russia, Mongolia, northern China, Japan, and Korea—though infection appears to be relatively uncommon in these areas. In Asia, Lyme is transmitted by the taiga tick (which is also found in Eastern Europe).
Testing for Lyme Disease
Consider taking this test if:
- You have traveled to areas infested with ticks that can transmit Lyme disease bacteria (such as blacklegged ticks, castor bean ticks, and taiga ticks), found ticks on your body, and are now experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease.
- If you believe you have been exposed to a tick and are experiencing symptoms (such as fatigue, headaches, or a rash), taking this test can help assess for Lyme disease. If you have been tested previously, but are now having new symptoms, this test can also help.
When NOT to Take This Lyme Disease Test
Do not take this test if:
- You are experiencing a round rash after a tick bite, such as the typical bullseye (bull's eye) rash associated with Lyme disease. Seek immediate medical attention instead of taking this test. A round rash (from a tick bite) could be a sign of Lyme disease, and it's best to consult a medical professional and receive treatment as soon as possible.
- You suspect you might have been infected with Lyme disease bacteria less than 6 weeks ago. The antibodies detected by this test take several weeks to build up in your bloodstream, taking the test before 6 weeks have passed may result in a false negative.
- You haven’t lived in or traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs. Consider discussing any symptoms with your healthcare provider instead of taking this test.
- You were previously diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease and are still symptomatic. Consider discussing any symptoms with your healthcare provider instead of taking this test.
- You are currently being treated for Lyme disease or taking antibiotics for other infections. Consider discussing any symptoms with your healthcare provider instead of taking this test.
This test will tell you if you test positive for previous exposure to three strains of Borrelia bacteria: Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia afzelii. Lyme disease is caused by infection from Borrelia bacteria, which are transmitted by bites from infected blacklegged ticks – or if you have traveled to Europe or Asia, it can be transmitted by castor bean ticks and taiga ticks. In response to the infection, your body produces specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. IgG antibodies are detectable about six weeks after the tick bite first occurs, and may be detected in one’s blood many years later.
If you test positive, your test results – along with your travel history and symptoms – may indicate a Lyme infection that would be considered a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Important Note: A positive test result is not a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease. A Lyme disease diagnosis can only be made by a medical professional if you have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease and a history of possible exposure to infected blacklegged ticks.
This test includes a two-step process for Lyme disease testing, which significantly reduces the number of false positives. Thus, you’ll only receive a positive result if your finger prick blood sample tests positive for two separate laboratory evaluations:
Screening Test: The screening test uses an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) that measures IgG and IgM reactivity.
Confirmatory Test: The confirmatory test is an immunoblot assay, which is only done if the screening test is positive.
Both of these laboratory evaluations are included in the Lyme Disease Test, and you only need to send in one blood sample.
A positive test result is not a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease, but EverlyWell’s independent physician network is here for you. If your lab test results are positive, a care coordinator will contact you to discuss next steps and how a physician may diagnose and treat Lyme disease (if appropriate).
- What is Lyme disease?
- Why is it called Lyme disease if the bacteria is Borrelia burgdorferi?
- Who is at risk of getting Lyme disease?
- How can I reduce my risk of getting Lyme?
- Understanding Cross Reactivity For Lyme Disease
- Can I get Lyme disease in any state?
- How do I get diagnosed with Lyme disease?
- What is the Lyme Disease Test looking for?
- What will the Lyme results tell me?
- What if I tested “Positive” on the Lyme Disease Test, but I do not have symptoms, nor have I travelled to an area with these ticks?
- What if I had a tick bite, have symptoms and my Lyme test result is negative?
- How is Lyme disease treated?
- How is Lyme viewed in the medical community?
- How to collect my blood spot sample (with video)
- Do I need to stop taking my supplements or medications before the test?
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