Lyme Disease Testing Is Dangerously Inaccurate

An IgM immunoglobulin test measures the level of Lyme disease immunoglobulins, or antibodies, in the blood
Western Blot testing similarly looks for Lyme antibodies which reveal the presence of the infection

“You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less,” write the CDC on their Lyme disease website. “This is misleading information.”

Or is it?

Because while the CDC make pains to suggest that their blood testing recommendations are the best method for identifying and treating Lyme disease infection, even they have a tough time massaging the facts to fit their angle.

“As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon the stage of disease,” they admit. “During the first few weeks of infection, the test is expected to be negative. It is not until 4-6 weeks have passed that the test is likely to be positive.”

The CDC also admit: “Some people who receive antibiotics may not develop antibodies or may only develop them at levels too low to be detected by the test.”
In fact, despite asserting that their blood tests are accurate, they don’t dispute the 65% inaccuracy claim; instead simply arguing: “This does not mean that the test is bad, only that it needs to be used correctly.”

“Correctly,” in this instance would seem to suggest that only certain circumstances can guarantee test accuracy – circumstances that perhaps don’t reflect the real conditions most people are under when they test for the presence of b. burgdorferi bacteria in their blood.

The notorious inaccuracy of Lyme disease testing is just one more reason why the best treatment for Lyme disease is to avoid infection in the first place. You can do this by taking steps to prevent tick bites when you’re out and about; whether camping or hiking, or just enjoying your back yard.

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