Why is Lyme Testing Not Always Accurate:

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Early detection and treatment of Lyme disease is important for a successful outcome, but the accuracy of testing is a concern.

According to a study published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews, “Serological tests for Lyme disease have limitations, including the potential for false-negative results early in the course of infection and false-positive results in the absence of infection.” (Aucott et al., 2013).

The two-tiered testing process recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes a screening test followed by a confirmatory test if the screening test is positive. However, this process still results in false-negative results in early stages of infection and false-positive results due to cross-reactivity with other diseases.

It’s important to note that a negative test result does not rule out the possibility of Lyme disease and a clinical diagnosis should also be considered. Further research is needed to improve the accuracy of Lyme disease testing.

How can people get accurate Lyme testing?

To get accurate Lyme testing, people can consider the following steps:

  1. Seek a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable about Lyme disease and its testing.
  2. Provide a detailed medical history, including information about potential tick bites, symptoms, and any previous treatment for Lyme disease.
  3. Get tested as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms, as early detection increases the accuracy of testing.
  4. Keep in mind that a negative test result does not rule out the possibility of Lyme disease, and a clinical diagnosis should also be considered.
  5. Keep the tick and send it in to be tested, this is great way to rule out Lyme if you just got bit. 


It’s important to remember that Lyme disease testing is not always accurate and further research is needed to improve its accuracy.

I like to start with a detailed intake form and a medical history.  There is hope.  If you would like to have a free discovery call to see if your symptoms could be Lyme, please schedule that here. https://calendly.com/thelymeboss/40-minute-discovery-call

Check out my last blog post on why some folks with Lyme do not get better https://www.thelymeboss.com/blog/post/trigger-warning-this-might-hit-a-little-close-to-home-why-some-folks-with-lyme-do-not-get-better

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