Lyme disease is a terrible but treatable disease and though it can be very scary, when detected early enough a simple antibiotic treatment is usually enough to cure patients of the disease permanently. Unfortunately, when Lyme disease goes undiagnosed it can become a debilitating and chronic disease that is very difficult to treat. Currently, the FDA has only approved the ELISA and Western-Blot tests for diagnosing Lyme disease. These tests rely on the detection of antibodies in the blood that the body makes in response to the bacteria. These tests are very accurate in the later stages of Lyme, 87% accurate when Lyme has progressed to neurological symptoms and 97% accurate when it has developed into Lyme arthritis. However, these same tests are inaccurate in the earliest stages of the disease, only 29-40% accurate, and as we know this is the most vital time for quick and absolute treatment. The Western-Blot and ELISA are over 20 years old and systemically do not meet the needed requirement for the best plan of action in treating Lyme disease. Though they are viable forms for diagnosing Lyme disease, they are ultimately unreliable leaving many of those with Lyme doomed to fight the disease for years possibly even decades after being misdiagnosed in the early stages of the disease.
The good news is that a new testing method is being evolved to accurately identify Lyme disease in its infancy giving the 300,000 yearly patients diagnosed with Lyme a better fighting chance at being cured of the disease before it progresses into chronic debilitating symptoms. Researchers at Yale University, Rutgers University, Harvard University, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH and other academic centers have published an analyzation of this new form of testing in Clinical Infectious Diseases publication. This new diagnostic method has been found by public and industry health agencies to be a better test offering a higher chance for more accurate and earlier detection of Lyme disease. The new testing relies on more advanced forms of antibody testing and other alternative testing protocols like looking for the bodies metabolic response to give a more reliable result at the earlier stages of infection.
New testing for Lyme disease has been looked at for many years and Envita Medical Center has been using advanced testing to identify Lyme through DNA sequencing of patient’s urine, not relying on conventional testing. All in all, it has been accepted that the Western-Blot and ELISA are not optimal for identifying Lyme and the future offers increased hope for a better system.