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Interpretive Handbook

Test 62883 :
Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

In North America, ticks are the primary vectors of infectious diseases.(1) Worldwide, ticks rank second only to mosquitoes in disease transmission. In the United States, tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, human monocytic and granulocytic ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, tularemia, relapsing fever, and Colorado tick fever. Several of these diseases are transmitted by the same tick, and co-infections are occasionally seen.


Symptoms of the various tick-vectored diseases range from mild to life-threatening. Early symptoms, which include fever, aches, and malaise, do not aid in distinguishing the various diseases. Because early treatment can minimize or eliminate the risk of severe disease, early detection is essential, yet patients may not have developed distinctive symptoms to help in the differential diagnosis. A tick-borne panel can assist in identifying the pathogen, allowing treatment to be initiated.


While Lyme disease is best detected through 2-tiered serologic testing, acute ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis are best detected using molecular amplification assays. This tick-borne panel offers sensitive, specific, and rapid detection of the agents that cause these 3 diseases.


For information on the specific diseases, please see the individual test IDs.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Evaluation of the most common tick-borne diseases found in the United States, including human monocytic and granulocytic ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis


Evaluation of patients with a history of, or suspected, tick exposure who are presenting with fever, myalgia, headache, nausea, and other nonspecific symptoms

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

See individual test IDs.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

See individual test IDs.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.






Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Diaz J: Ticks (including tick paralysis). In Mandell, Doublass, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. Vol 2. Seventh edition. Edited by GL Mandell, JE Bennett, R Dolin, Philadelphia, Churchill Livingston, 2010, Chapter 297, pp 3649-3661