Georgia article about Lyme

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by victoria, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Macon Telegraph interviews Dr. Alan Smith of Mercer University and Liz Schmitz of Georgia Lyme.

    Experts Seeing Rise in Tick Population, Threat of Disease
    Health -

    From GA Lyme regarding the above article: "Good report, but I think they slightly misunderstood a few details.

    For example, the common B31 strain of bacteria seen in the deer tick HAS been found in the Lone star, too, but we may also have other strains and species playing a role here. These may not be detected because we're using only a northern isolate of the bacteria in tests.

    A recent Scottish study proved adding regional strains to a western blot test significantly increased its sensitivity. We need a test using regional Lyme bacteria so patients won't go untreated."
  2. Misfit101

    Misfit101 New Member

    Victoria this is very interesting to me. I live in a southern state...oklahoma. My borrelia burgdorferi was positive. But the bands were negative. I put in a call...and i was told that im kinda the opposite of what usually happens. That most ppl get a negative on the BB but will have a positive band. Or bands. But the fact that i had a positive on the BB means ive been infected with the bacteria. My BB was a 1.18 (i think...dont have the labs in front of me right now). It was flagged as high. They said reading the bands is like reading tea leaves. Does that make any sense to you? Im still trying to catch on to the band thing.
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Often what doctors order first is the ELISA or PCR test, it is actually less reliable than the Western Blot/WB.... not sure what that shows/if it has 'bands' tho maybe someone else will, as my son's LLMD didn't bother with it, even tho the IDSA's guidelines say it should be done first (which naturally doesn't make much sense).

    The Western Blot covers many bands, and there's 5 that the CDC look at for 'tracking/surveillance' purposes - if one shows up with all 5 positive, your case gets reported to the CDC. But those are not required for a positive on the WB even tho many doctors want that, and even tho the CDC itself it is a clinical dx that should not be based on any test(s) alone.

    It sounds like you maybe had the PCR or ELISA if you didn't have the WB:

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing detects the genetic material (DNA) of the Lyme disease bacteria. PCR testing may be used to identify a current (active) infection if you have symptoms of Lyme disease that have not gotten better with antibiotic treatment. PCR testing is not done as often as antibody testing because it requires technical skill and expensive equipment. Also, standards have not yet been developed for PCR testing and there is a risk of false-positive test results.

    Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This common and rapid test to identify Lyme disease antibodies is the most sensitive screening test for Lyme disease.

    Indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA). This test also screens for Lyme disease antibodies.

    Western blot test. This test also identifies Lyme disease antibodies and can confirm the results of an ELISA or IFA test. It is most often done to detect a chronic Lyme disease infection.

    If it was a WB, there's info here on how to interpret your results, also at flash lymenet. I'd ask which test you had done...

    to paraphrase Tom Jones' song, "It's not unusual to be unusual..."

  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    and if you want to find out more about the southern tick disease and/or "Master's Disease", you can google more info.

    From CanLyme about the 2:
    Master’s Disease
    Named after a persistent physician who finally convinced the CDC that he was seeing numerous patients from Missouri and surrounding areas with Lyme-like symptoms, investigators discovered a “new” bacteria (Borrelia lonestari) carried by the Lone Star Tick which did not test positive using the normal Lyme disease tests. The rash caused by the bite is similar to that of Lyme disease, but sometimes raised and warm to the touch. Antibiotic treatment is the same.

    STARI – Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness
    This may or may not be Master’s disease, but researchers are investigating an outbreak of tick-associated rashes in the southwest, again caused by the Lone Star tick.


    The thing is, they're discovering different varieties of Bb in the US... the Upper Midwest version is a bit different than the NE version, etc., making it harder to dx by blood testing. You may also read that the STAR1 isn't the same as Lyme, but many people beg to differ. Again, lots of controversy.

    At least the abx are broad spectrum, and will usually also kill some of the more likely co-infections, which may or may not be present.

    Gets more and more confusiating, doesn't it?

    [This Message was Edited on 06/09/2010]
  5. Misfit101

    Misfit101 New Member

    Im pulling my hair out as we speak. It made me think that the reason the bands were absent is bc the test is looking for bands common to northern ticks as opposed to ticks from the south. confusiated alright. Thanks for posting this info!