Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Blood tests for Lyme Disease are not definitive.

The makers of the test kits which are used in the UK are Trinity Biotech.
They say
'The Trinity Biotech EU Lyme + VlsE IgG Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) Test System is a qualitative test intended for use in the presumptive detection of human IgG antibodies to Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia burgdorferi(B-31) including the VlsE Protein in human serum. This EIA system should be used to test serum from patients with a history and symptoms of infection with Borrelia. All positive and equivocal specimens should be re-tested with a highly specific, second-tier test such as Western blot. Positive second-tier results are supportive evidence of infection with Borrelia. The diagnosis of Lyme disease should be made based on history and symptoms (such as erythema migrans), and other laboratory data, in addition to the presence of antibodies to Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii and B. burgdorferi(B-31) including the VlsE protein. Negative results (either first or second-tier) should not be used to exclude Lyme disease.'

Here are 103 studies on Seronegativity from Lyme Info a very useful resource.

At the IDSA review hearing Steven Phillips presented 25 studies on Seronegativity and Persistent infection after courses of antibiotic treatment. Other presenters questioned the over reliance on tests that some research shows can miss up to 50% of cases.
Details of presentations can be found on ILADS website here

Interestingly of the IDSA review panel 4 out of 8 of that panel had a problem over the blood tests yet what did the IDSA do, rubber stamp the guidelines and disregard the 4 Doctors who were concerned about the science supporting that blood tests could be nearly 100%. The Calda Blog sets out the problems

My symptoms were Arthritis and muscle weakness mainly but also tingling and twitching in my hands feet, legs and face, a constant sore throat for several years and the worst symptom was swallowing problems dysphargia.

I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Arthritis, Muscle weakness, Musculo skeletal disorder, Polymyalgia Rheumatica and eventually Lyme Disease.

I never tested positive for Lyme Disease but then 20 months of steroids for the PMR diagnosis would probably have skewed the results as would the antibiotic treatment received. However I did have two bulls eye rashes, the hall mark of Lyme, but sadly missed by the Locum doctor I saw. My GP was advised by Sue O'Connell the Head of the Lyme reference unit to stop antibiotics. When I did my symptoms deteriorated and so GP put me back on them.

Thank goodness the GP followed her own instincts and continued to treat me and I continued to improve, otherwise I doubt I would be enjoying my current good health.

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