(Diagnosing Lyme: According to Why Can’t I Get Better.)

Diagnosing Lyme

  • The ELISA antibody test. This test does not look for the organism itself. John Hopkins University conducted this study in 2005, confirming the poor sensitivity of the ELISA.
  • DNA tests (PCR testing) are also invalid. It’s only accurate 30 to 60 percent of the time, but it is advancing into a more accurate diagnostic every year. This is a test that should be performed multiple times.
  • The Western Blot test shows Borrelia-specific bands (the proteins of Borrelia) and is more sensitive than the ELISA. The Western Blot also has its flaws. There are over 300 strains of Borrelia around the world but Western Blot does not test for all of them.
  • Borrelia miyamotoi, a cause of relapsing fever commonly contracted in Japan, will not test positive with the ELISA, Western Blot or PCR test.
  • Lyme patients often have negative results with ELISA, PCR and Western Blot testing if tested too early or if tested after early use of antibiotics as well.
diagnosing lyme horowitz
The book that confuses us all

Other options

  • The lymphocyte transformation test (LTT, Borrelia ELISpot) shows specific T-cell responses to Borrelia. T cells are a type of white blood cell that can retain memory prior to infection.
  • The commercial culture of Borrelia (Advanced Laboratories) is accepted by IDSA, ILADS and the CDC. Lyme grows slowly in cultures, so less than 16 weeks of culturing provides disappointing results.
  • Specialists only see a piece of the puzzle, treating single body systems and organs. Each may describe a certain relative truth about your condition and none are incorrect, but they don’t see the big picture.
  • Horowitz diagnoses Lyme with the multiple systemic infectious disease syndrome (MSIDS) model.
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