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Laboratory Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Infections

Part 1


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Lyme Disease - Serologic Assays

Slide 28

July 2010

As with the screening tests, the sensitivity of Lyme Western blot is also dependent on the stage of the disease when testing is performed. During stage 1, Western blot may demonstrate a sensitivity of only 20 to 50%, with the majority of antibody detected being of the IgM-class. In stages 2 and 3 of the disease, the sensitivity of Western blot increases to 70-100%, and we typically observe a switch in prevalence of antibody to that of the IgG-class.

It is important to point out that although a positive IgM Western blot generally indicates recent infection, IgM-class antibodies may persist for months to years following infection in some cases, and because of this, a positive IgM does not always serve as an indicator of recent, acute infection.

Lyme Disease - Serologic Assays


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