The Lyme PCR test is used to aid in the diagnosis of Lyme Disease. This test detects the genetic material of the bacteria which causes Lyme Disease. Results for this test are quantitative and provide a numerical result for the level of bacteria detected. PCR testing is highly sensitive and may be able to detect the presence of Lyme Disease sooner than an antibody test. As a screening, this test still has the possibility of a false positive so results should be confirmed with a Western Blot test. A PCR test can be useful for patients who are receiving antibiotic treatment for Lyme Disease but are still experiencing symptoms. In this case, A PCR test may be able to detect an active infection with more accuracy that an antibody test.
This test is designed to detect Borrelia Burgdorferi Sensu Stricto, the bacterial strain associated with Lyme Disease in the United States. It is not appropriate for people who suspect they have contracted Lyme Disease outside of the US.
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.
This test is typically ordered when someone is monitoring their treatment for Lyme Disease or has been treated but is still experiencing symptoms. While a PCR test can be used as a screening, an antibody test such as the Lyme Disease Total and IgM Antibody is more commonly ordered for this purpose.
Turnaround time for the Lyme Disease PCR test is typically 7-10 business days.
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.
The Lyme PCR test can typically detect the bacteria after a few weeks after a suspected exposure. Some people may be detectable earlier.
Antibiotics can interfere with test results. Please consult your prescribing physician prior to testing.
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