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Not All Lyme Tests Are Created Equal: Why Having Quality Antigens Is Crucial To Test Sensitivity

Testing for Lyme disease is of the utmost importance in the early stages. Early detection lowers the risk of developing chronic Lyme disease, a debilitating condition that can occur if the bacterial infection is left untreated. The only true way to diagnose and treat Lyme disease early is through effective testing.

When it comes to testing for Lyme disease, however, not all tests are created equal. Some are more effective than others at signaling an infection. The risk of receiving a false negative is generally low when the test is done correctly, but there are a variety of factors that go into each unique type of test to determine the best possible route of treatment following a positive result.

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Infectolab - self-test for Lyme disease
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Can I Test Myself For Lyme Disease?

Our collective knowledge surrounding Lyme disease is something like an inverse funnel. We know a lot about how it is spread and contracted, but as the disease progresses, our understanding of it dissipates. One of the continuing problems we encounter is diagnosis. These are muddy waters, as Lyme exists in two very distinct forms: acute, which is legitimately recognized and lasts a number of weeks; and chronic, a far more malleable disorder that often mimics the symptoms of other diseases. Chronic Lyme is generally not acknowledged as a legitimate disorder, leaving patients and doctors undereducated about its symptoms and presentation. Diagnosis, therefore, is a major problem. This leads people who understand Lyme disease to wonder if it’s possible to test themselves for the disorder.

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Infectolab - research
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The New ELISpot Test: A Massive Breakthrough In The Identification Of Lyme Disease

Correctly diagnosing chronic Lyme disease is one of the most consistent problems doctors face. This unfortunate struggle is compounded by the fact that many clinics and medical professionals don’t recognize chronic Lyme as a legitimate disorder, in line with the views of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Subsequently, misdiagnosis rates are high, as Lyme is consistently confused with other chronic degenerative diseases such as fibromyalgia, MS, and even other more serious complications like Parkinson’s or MND. Accurate testing tools are an important addition to the Lyme-literate doctor’s arsenal, and a new variation on the traditional ELISpot test is proving to be a major breakthrough in the diagnostic field. This test is called the LymeSpot, and it provides a much more accurate picture of where a patient stands in their battle against Lyme.

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What Role Do The IFN-gamma And IL-2 Molecules Play In The Clinical Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease?

Diagnosing Lyme disease, especially the chronic variant, can be a long and delicate process. The number of misdiagnoses is high; while this has a lot to do with the poor education and recognition of the disease and the doctors treating it, it also speaks to the insidious nature of the condition. Lyme disease often mimics the symptoms of other, more prominent degenerative disorders, leading to constant misidentification. In addition, the disease affects patients in different ways, as the prevalent symptoms are often caused by a patient’s individual immune response, not the bacteria itself. Anything that can help diagnose Lyme successfully is much appreciated by doctors on the frontline. Recently, help has been identified in the form of T-cells, specifically the IFN-gamma (also called type II interferon) and IL-2 (also called interleukin-2) molecules.

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Infectolab - testing
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LymeSpot: Our Unique Diagnostic Method

When it comes to Lyme disease, one of the biggest hurdles to successful treatment is the lack of accurate testing. Diagnosis in the acute stage is relatively more simple than the chronic stage; in the former, the patient will usually present with flu-like symptoms and a bullseye rash, which is a prime indicator of Lyme. Once this distinctive symptom has been brought to a doctor’s attention, successful treatment is a matter of course. However, if the acute stage develops into the chronic stage, testing and diagnosis gets a lot more complicated. The traditional test for chronic Lyme is the ELISA and Western Blot, which tests for the presence of antibodies against borrelia burgdorferi on. However, the LymeSpot, utilized by BCA-clinic in Germany and Infectolab in the U.S., is a much more precise tool, and a better option for patients and doctors alike.

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