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Lyme Disease Message Board

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What’s a “culture proven Lyme (culture or DNA positive)”?[/QUOTE]

It's culturing (growing) the bacteria from any sample from the human body or PCR test (very difficult to achieve with LD)--finding genetic material in a blood sample.


" It is extremely hard to culture Lyme bacteria and this is not commercially feasible. Lyme bacteria are what is known as "sparse" and "fastidious".

This means there aren't many of them and they stick to themselves
(for instance, don't replicate often). In a culture Petri dish, this means they won't replicate or grow enough to produce a positive result in a reasonable amount of time. The time it takes to grow a culture of Lyme is very long. Physicians do not use this method of detection of Lyme because it is not practical.

While PCR positive Lyme is very specific--meaning if you are PCR positive you have it--

it is not very sensitive--meaning it misses a lot of patients.

In fact, if you know that 100 patients have Lyme only 10-15 of these will test positive by PCR in blood. This is because the PCR blood test has "low yield". The organism that causes Lyme disease is sparse--there are very few floating in the blood. They also tend to head for the hills--meaning tissues, brain, bladder, ligaments, eyes, etc.

A PCR blood test has to capture an organism in the blood in order to test positive. This is why so few patients test positive by PCR blood tests.

There is also the fact that while antibiotics may not kill all of the Lyme in the body, particularly if it is hiding out in places that the antibiotics may not reach, they do clear the blood of the infection. So a patient on antibiotics is expected to test negative by PCR and only 10-15% of those not on antibiotics will test positive."

So-in the case you reference, the px who were culture-positive didn't test positive with the Western Blot.

but ALL lyme testing in existence, nevermind the testing available at the time of the Lymerix vaccine, is and was deplorable.

The most accurate western blot tests currently available (Igenex) have a sensitivity in the 70s percentile.
To quote Dr. Stricker: "This sensitivity is far below the 95% cutoff required for an accurate diagnostic test and" (to give you an idea) "....much worse than the 99.5% sensitivity of commercial HIV testing..."

Standard western blot tests sensitivity are even lower.

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