The Lyme Disease IgM Antibodies test is used to aid in the diagnosis of Lyme Disease. This test looks for IgM antibodies only. IgM antibodies typically develop within a few weeks of infection and phase out after a few months. A positive result for this test may indicate a recent or acute infection with Lyme Disease. In the event of a positive or indeterminate result, a confirmatory Western Blot test will be automatically run at no additional charge.
Lyme Disease is caused by infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is most commonly spread by the Deer Tick or Black Legged Tick and is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States and Europe. Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often similar to other afflictions. While some people will display a distinctive "bulls-eye" rash around the site of the bite, others may experience common flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, and headache. The ticks which spread the disease are typically very small (the size of a pin head) and many people do not even realize they have been bitten. If left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause joint pain, numbness in the arms and legs, facial paralysis, Meningitis, heart problems, or memory problems.
Testing for Lyme Disease is advised when a person is experiencing symptoms associated with Lyme, especially if they have had a recent tick bite or have been in an area where Lyme Disease is prevalent. Testing should also be considered by anyone who has been in an area where Deer Ticks are known to be common. In some cases it may take more than one test to accurately detect Lyme Disease. Someone with negative test results who is still experiencing symptoms should consider ordering additional testing or consult with a doctor.
This test is typically ordered when someone believes they have had a recent exposure to Lyme Disease. People who believe that have had a past exposure or are not sure when their exposure occurred may wish to order a Total and IgM Antibodies test which looks for both recent and past exposure.
Turnaround time for the Lyme Disease Antibodies, IgM test is typically 2-5 business days but may take longer if confirmatory testing is necessary.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
Lyme Disease IgM antibodies usually appear 1-2 weeks after an initial exposure and return to normal after about 6 to 8 weeks.
Antibiotics can interfere with the test results. Please consult your prescribing physician prior to testing.