We are proud to have the most efficient (and inexpensive) natural answer for Lyme Disease.
Over 44,000 customers over the years, chronic and severe cases – with a report back effectiveness of over 90%. The only things needed are Monolaurin (which actually kills it) and trademarked Bio-Fibrin formula (essential to dissolve Lyme biofilms and cysts so the Monolaurin can do it’s job)!
A brief summary of our 3-Step Lyme Disease Protocol is at: Lyme Disease Protocol.
However, this article is about the different Lyme disease tests so let’s take a look…
There are a surprising number of Lyme disease tests. It would be nice if one of them was really accurate and could tell you, for sure, where you are at. However, such a test currently doesn’t exist. The closest might be the CD57+ test listed below (and the subject of another article in our ‘A-Z List’.)
According to ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, “After a tick bite, tests…are not expected to become positive until several weeks have passed. Therefore, if (a bull’s eye rash) is present, treatment must begin immediately!
You should not miss the chance to treat early Lyme disease, for this is when the success rate is the highest (for standard medical). Once Lyme disease develops biofilms, antibiotics become much less effective. (It does not affect our protocol.) One should not wait for results of tests. Indeed, many knowledgeable clinicians will not even order a Borrelia test in this circumstance.”(1)
A good test to determine whether you have Lyme can be hard to come by. The Lyme spirochete can hide in the human body and fool the immune system into thinking it isn’t there by hiding behind a protein wall produced by the spirochete, called “biofilm.” So, antibodies are not produced, resulting in negative tests. The spirochetes can also morph into a different form, a cyst, which the immune system does not recognize. Testing should wait 6+ weeks after treatment begins to allow the immune system to register.
The list below has brief comments on many of the tests available
There are two general categories of Lyme tests. They can look for either:
1. Anti-bodies, or
2. Anti-gens (DNA of the actual organisms)
Both testing methods can be highly unreliable. Lyme disease often evades the immune system so false-negatives are common. A Western Blot, for example, may become positive only after the start of treatment. This is generally due to the recovery of the immune system and it is now recognizing the foreign invaders beginning to mount an attack.
1. Anti-body Tests
ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunoassay)
This is a simple, inexpensive test for detection of antibodies created as a response to an infection with Borrelia Burgdorferi (the main causative agent in Lyme disease). The test is not recommended until at least four weeks after exposure. The C6-peptide ELISA is, perhaps, a little better form of the ELISA test though still not very accurate. A positive ELISA must be followed up with a Western Blot.
In one study, the test was found to be 55% inaccurate (cheaper to go with a simple coin toss). A 2005 Johns Hopkins study, published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, claims that the CDC’s two-tiered testing procedure, use of both ELISA and Western Blot, misses 75% of positive Lyme cases.(2)
Many think a doctor using this test is not well-versed in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. They would say that, if your doctor is relying on an ELISA test to determine the course of your care, you might want to find a new doctor.
The ELISHA test is automated. Many different patient samples can be performed by a single machine simultaneously. It may be convenient for the lab, but many consider the ELISA not sensitive enough to serve as an adequate screen. There are many patients with Lyme who test negative by ELISA yet have fully diagnostic western blots.
Proving a persistent infection requires that you locate something in the blood. Since spirochetes leave the blood for body tissue, and tissue samples are something best collected at an autopsy, finding evidence can be tough.
This is likely the most commonly used test for Lyme disease. False negatives are also common with it, but it is a good place to start. Western Blot test results will include both IgG and IgM assays. However, with Lyme disease, these are not as accurate indicators of the length of time the infection has been present as in other infections.
It is also important to look at all of the known Lyme-specific bands (18, 23-25, 30-31, 34, 37, 39, 83-93) – and not just at the NEGATIVE or POSITIVE summary result of the Western Blot test. If any of these bands appear in either IgG or IgM, it is a likely indication of past or present Lyme infection. Also, most labs in the US only test for Borrelia burgdorferi and may miss many strains of the Borrelia organisms, especially those from Europe.
Then in 1994, the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Laboratory Directors set nationwide standards for Western Blot reporting and disqualified those bands as even being reportable.
Currently among Lyme literate doctors, significance is associated with 41 kDa band, which appear the earliest but can cross-react with other spirochetes. In addition, there should be at least one of the following:
18 kDa, 23-25 (Osp C), 31 kDa (Osp A),
34 kDa (Osp B), 37 kDa, 39 kDa,
83 kDa 93 kDa
(These are all species-specific, but may or may not appear during the course of the disease.
55 kDa, 60 kDa, 66 kDa,
73 kDa are nonspecific and nondiagnostic.(3)
The 58 kDa band, on the other hand, is considered to be highly specific in Scotland and other European laboratories.(4)
2. Anti-gen Tests
People with HIV/AIDS often get their T-cell counts (CD-4 cell counts) checked on a regular basis. It also appears that there is a similar population of NK (natural killer) cells calledCD57+ cells that are known only to be suppressed in the presence of Lyme disease. General guidelines are that:
• A score of < 20 indicates advanced or highly active Lyme disease.
• Scores of 20-80 are indicative of active Lyme disease.
• Scores > 80-100+ start to suggest that the Lyme infection is less active.
A normal test result would be > 200. It is the opinion of some doctors that treatment is necessary until the CD57 test score is 150 or above. The lower the end result, the more likely a relapse may happen if treatment is terminated (other than our Lyme protocol).
The test can be an indication of progression of disease or of progress in treatment. However, it is also common to see only small changes until the end of treatment where the results often then jump quickly to higher levels. This test might hold promise as an indicator of Lyme disease presence and when to consider stopping treatment. Unfortunately, there are people that feel they are recovering and still have low CD57 scores as well as those that have high scores and are still quite ill. The test doesn’t seem to provide consistent value for every patient.
The best use for the CD57 test might be as an initial screening test and, perhaps, for initial monitoring progress – but is less valuable as treatment goes on. It has also been observed that CD57 may be low in other infections or conditions beyond just Borrelia. Thus, there is some debate around its usefulness.
This offers the IFA (immunofluorescence assay) for Borrelia. It based on the correlation of many people having consistent equivocal or negative results also having results consistent with Lyme disease. However, the correlation is not absolute.
(Central Florida Research labs): Lyme-literate physicians generally prefer to use this because the accuracy rates are better. But again, they are not perfect. (5)
This is an assay for the direct detection of Lyme antigen in the urine. The Reverse Western Blot is an antigen detection test where the urine is exposed to rabbit antibodies for Borrelia burgdorferi.
PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
Here, small amounts of DNA are looked for. PCR tests are positive somewhere between 6% and 15% of the time. However, for PCR to be useful, it may take repeated tests in order to get a positive result.
They offer testing for other strains of Borrelia such as Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii. Though the extensive panel for Lyme is spendy, it is quite an impressive list of organisms that they are testing for:
- Borrelia burgdorferi
- Babesia microti
- Bartonella henselae
- Anaplasma phagocytophilum
- Mycoplasma fermentans
- Borrelia lonestari
- Borrelia afzelii & garinii
- Coxiella burnetii
- Ehrlichia chaffeensis
- Ehrlichia ewingii
- Francisella tularensis
- Rickettsia species (9 species)
They emerged in early 2010 as a lab with a focus on Bartonella and may be one of the best options for exploring Bartonella as a potential factor in illness.
KS3 Diagnostic Laboratories
They began offering panels for Lyme, Babesia, and fungal issues in November 2013. This appears to be based on the earlier testing offered by Spiro Stat labs. People have given feedback that the Spiro Stat testing had shed light on their situation. Their panels look very promising, and I am looking forward to feedback from more people that have the testing done.
Advanced Laboratory Services
This is the first commercially available lab culture test for Borrelia. This lab has the potential to be a game changer in the world of Lyme disease. If the actual organism can be cultured after years of treatment, the argument over persistence of the organism may be forced to change. Consultants to the lab include Dr. Joe Burrascano, Dr. Marcus Conant, and Dr. Eva Sapi.
Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (MDL)
This is another lab that many people have found useful. They have been around for a number of years and do testing for a broad variety of relevant things such as Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, Candida, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, and more.
Testing for Co-Infections
Testing for co-infections is a critically important piece of the puzzle with standard treatments. Our experience is that people with Lyme disease generally have at one or more co-infections. Each co-infection may require different types of standard treatments and, unless all of them are addressed, the chances of recovery are lessened. Fortunately, our Monolaurin kills all pathogens and, thus, all co-infections (bartonella is dealt with as with the spirochete protocol).
Here are some thoughts on co-infections (some apply only to standard treatments):
- Co-infections are the RULE, not an exception.
- The average child with Lyme has 2-5 co-infections with an average of 3.
- Treatment of co-infections is required and often, they must be treated BEFORE or concurrent with the Borrelia treatment itself (standard treatments).
- If you don’t test for and treat co-infections, you are not putting yourself in a good position for healing (standard treatments).
- Almost everyone with chronic Lyme likely has 1 or more co-infections.
- Co-infections require DIFFERENT treatments in many cases (standard treatments). Do not assume that you are covering them with only the Lyme treatment (other than with our protocol). Many people don’t even know which ones they have.
- Co-infection testing is often unreliable as well and you need to repeat them over time. It took 4 months for one person’s Bartonella to appear and almost 8 for Babesia to finally appear, but they were there.
- If you think you only have Borrelia, odds are you have not looked closely enough.
Co-Infections Test Possibilities:
Perhaps, the preferred approach for testing for co-infections is to use IGeneX (particularly the Babesia and Bartonella FISH tests). For Bartonella, Galaxy Diagnostics appears to be a very good option as well.
For Lyme Disease / Borrelia Testing:
- Complete Lyme Panel 6050 from IGeneX which includes Western Blots, the Lyme IFA, and PCR.
- Borrelia Culture from Advanced Laboratory Services was made available in late 2011. This is the first commercially available culture for Borrelia and does not rely on the immune system for a positive test result.
- CD57 from either IGeneX or LabCorp as another key indicator that may help provide more information as to whether or not Lyme disease may be a factor in one’s chronic illness.
For Co-Infection Testing:
- Complete Co-Infection Panel 5095 from IGeneX which includes Babesia antibody and FISH testing, Ehrlichia antibody testing, and Bartonella antibody and FISH testing.
- Co-Infection Profiles from Fry Labs.
- Bartonella testing from Galaxy Diagnostics.
If the budget or insurance can handle it, a good heavy metal urine challenge test, viral testing, and a good parasite test might also be good. People focus too much on just the Lyme and miss many of the other important things that are also going on. However, we usually focus on getting rid of the Lyme disease first – and many of the other conditions will also disappear! Then, you can focus on dealing with any remaining symptoms.
- Dr. J Burrascano, Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme and Other Tick Born Illnesses, November 2002, accessed at http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf
- P Coulter, C Lema, et al; Two-Year Evaluation of Borrelia burgdorferi Culture and Supplemental Tests for Definitive Diagnosis of Lyme Disease, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, October 2005, p. 5080-5084, Vol. 43, No. 10.
- Burrascano J. Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease. 16th edition. Downloaded June 7, 2009 from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases website, http://www.ilads.org/
- Evans R, Mavins S et al. Audit of the Laboratory Diagnosis of Lyme in Scotland. Journal of Medical Microbiology (2005), 54, 1139–1141. DOI 10.1099/jmm.0.46003-0.
- Ji B; Collins MT. Seroepidemiologic survey of Borrelia burgdorferi exposure of dairy cattle in Wisconsin. Am J Vet Res. 1994 Sep;55(9):1228-31.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Effect of electronic laboratory reporting on the burden of Lyme disease surveillance – New Jersey, MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 57(2):42-45, 2001-2006.
Fallon, B. A. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of repeated IV antibiotic therapy for Lyme encephalopathy. Neurology, 2008, 70:992-1003.
Feder, H. M., Jr. A critical appraisal of “chronic Lyme disease. N. Engl. J. Med. 357:1422-1430, 2007.
Jarefors, S., L. Bennet, E. You, P. Forsberg, C. Ekerfelt, J. Berglund, and J. Ernerudh. Lyme borreliosis reinfection: might it be explained by a gender difference in immune response?Immunology 118:224-232, 2006.
Klempner, M. S. Two controlled trials of antibiotic treatment in patients with persistent symptoms and a history of Lyme disease. N. Engl. J. Med. 345:85-92, 2001.
Krupp, L. B. Study and treatment of post Lyme disease (STOP-LD): a randomized double masked clinical trial. Neurology 60:1923-1930, 2003.
Marques, A., M. R. Brown, and T. A. Fleisher. Natural killer cell counts are not different between patients with post-Lyme disease syndrome and controls. Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 16:1249-1250, 2009.
Wood, K. L., H. L. Twigg III, and A. I. Doseff. Dysregulation of CD8+ lymphocyte apoptosis, chronic disease, and immune regulation. Front. Biosci. 14:3771-3781, 2009.
Wormser, G. P., and E. D. Shapiro. Implications of gender in chronic Lyme disease. J. Womens Health 18:831-834, 2009.