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HI, I have some questions I was wondering if anyone could answer or offer some insight:

1. Does Lyme disease cause a positive ANA with a high titer?

2. How reliable is the Lyme PCR DNA test?

3. What do some of the bands mean on the Western blot - I mean are some cross relative with other diseases or virus' NOT related to Lyme?

I had my Lyme test done at Medical Diagnostics Lab and it is a good lab, I came back with a negative for their tests, but came up with IgM 60, IgG 41,

which does not even meet their requirement at the CDD (of course) but also their Alternative requirement for the specific bands of Lyme. I had none of the typical bands for Lyme. Just curious what other bands react with other diseases or Autoimmune diseases. If anyone knows.

Thanks,
Ellen
Hi Ellen. I will answer your questions the best I can.

1. Yes, Lyme can cause a positive ANA. I had one and I have heard of many others having it.

2. I cannot tell you the exact percentage of reliability for the PCR, but no Lyme test is completely reliable.

3. I don't know the answer to this. It is my understanding that this test is solely for Lyme disease. I suggest calling IgeneX Lab and asking them.

It is important to use a Lyme reputable lab, such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA for testing. The CDC states that several bands have to be positive for the Western Blot to be considered positive; however, they also state that a negative test does not rule out Lyme! Many people who have Lyme disease do not test positive.
I just want to add that what the ELISA/Western Blot tests search for very specific antibodies your immune system may have produced in response to being exposed to the Lyme Disease bacteria, Borrelia Burdorferi. The CDC requires at least 5 out of the 10 bands to show positive to rule out any chance of false positives. Someone with Syphylis, for example, can show positive on these tests. In a case like yours, when only a couple bands show positive, an ANA is often ordered because rheumatoid conditions may also lead to false positives so there is a definite chance for a cross reactivity. I'm curious to note that your ANA did infact come out positive and should be noted.

Right here is the kicker with ELISA/Western Blot---not everyone who actually has a Lyme Disease infection will show positive with this test and not everyone who shows positive will actually have Lyme Disease or even a single related symptom...How is that for ya! That is why these tests have and always should be used only to CONFIRM a Lyme Disease diagnosis, not to actually diagnosis a case.

The Lyme PCR DNA test will actually test for the presence of the bacteria, not just antibodies. However, it is not a very effective diagnostic tool in later stages of the disease. The reasons for this are that the samples taken (blood, urine, and sometimes spinal fluid) often contain very little bacteria if any after the early stages of disease have past. The test in and of itself, if done exactly like it should be, is nearly 100% accurate, but your chances of actually finding any bacteria are very slim because they migrate into body tissues like the brain, heart and other organs. The bacteria could be there and this test may never pick it up...it is literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

The take home message here is to never rely on any of the current diagnostic tests solely...they can only be used to confirm. Your doctor is going to have to make that diagnosis based on what he knows and understands about this disease and treat you accordingly.
Mark had a thru the roof ANA. It is above normal every time they test still. Through I geneX the first time, he only had a few equivocal bands positive. Then we blasted it up a bit with abx and he was more positive. Three months ago he was positive for a few bands and equivocal for more still. Dr. Jones just ran another to see what's up in his process now that he has been on pretty massive doses for his age. I will know a week from Wednesday and post about his results. Even if he is neg.--there is NO way he didn't have Lyme, and NO way he is cured yet.

It's SO confusing--basically the tests just suck! Too many variables with this disease. IgeneX is the best--but even they can say neg, and you could still have it. Need a good LLMD to Dx clinically. We are living in the dark age cave man days with Lyme. We can only fight for more research, better tests, better treatment, better education.





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