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What Is The Most Accurate Test For Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease an infectious disease caused by bacteria named Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii. This bacterium enters in your body through the bite of deer ticks. The ticks are found in woody areas. The symptoms of Lyme disease are atypical rash named erythema migrans, flu-like symptoms like fever, headache, joint and muscle pain and stiffness in the neck. The rash resembles like a bull’s eye at the site of the bite which is characteristic of Lyme disease. ELISA test and western blot are the tests that confirm the diagnosis most accurately. Lyme disease is treated by antibiotics.

What Is The Most Accurate Test For Lyme Disease?

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to many diseased conditions like flu. Ticks can also spread other diseases too. Lyme disease is diagnosed by evaluation of your symptoms and complete medical history, physical examination and blood tests like ELISA and western blots. Many patients do not remember biting of a tick as the bites are not painful. The presence of the typical rash that appears as bull’s eyes is the distinctive and most accurate diagnostic feature of the Lyme disease.

The tests that establish the diagnosis of Lyme disease are-

ELISA Test- this test is also called Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. This is a blood test for lyme disease that can detect the presence of the antibodies of the bacteria. Its results are not always perfect. Sometimes, you may get a positive result even if you are not having the disease. If the test is conducted too early, i.e. before the release of antibodies by the bacteria in your body, the results may be negative. This is because of the impact of the infection on one’s immune system.

Western Blot- it is performed after ELISA test as it can detect many proteins of antibodies in your blood more accurately than ELISA. It is a step two procedure to detect the antibodies after ELISA in Lyme disease.

Other tests that are done to check the speared of Lyme disease throughout the body are –

Lyme disease is an infectious disease which is characterized by a rash that resembles bull’s eye on the dartboard. The rash is also called erythema migrans. The causative organism of Lyme disease is Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii in the United States and Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii in Asia and Europe. These bacteria cannot enter your body by themselves. It is found in deer ticks. It is transmitted by the bite of the ticks. The ticks are tiny insects that are often unnoticeable. Many people cannot notice that they are bitten by ticks.

The ticks feed on human blood and should be attached to human bodies for 36- 48 hours or more to transmit the bacteria. The bacteria enter your body via skin and spreads through blood. The symptoms of the disease appear in 3- 30 days after the bite. The symptoms may appear or disappear constantly.

The symptoms of Lyme disease are-

  • A rash appears at the site of tick bite which is known as erythema migrans. It appears like a bull’s eye on the dartboard. It may be present in other parts of the body in few patients with Lyme disease.
  • Flu-like symptoms also develop in some people with Lyme disease. These are high fever, headaches, chills, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, swelling in the lymph nodes and stiffness in the neck.
  • If Lyme disease is not treated properly or in time, it may progress to serious complications like inflammatory arthritis, meningitis, neurological problems and heart ailments in the span of weeks, months or years.


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which is marked by an atypical rash that appears like bull’s eyes. This disease is transmitted by the bite of deer ticks, which feed on human blood. ELISA test followed by western blot is the most accurate test for Lyme disease.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Lyme Disease: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html
  2. Mayo Clinic – Lyme Disease: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lyme-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20374651
  3. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – Lyme Disease: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/lyme-disease

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 4, 2023

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