Home > Lyme Disease: Role of Blood Tests
If you were exposed to ticks and you get an expanding, circular rash (erythema migrans), your doctor may treat you for Lyme disease without doing a blood test. Blood tests done in the first few weeks may not show Lyme disease even when you have the illness. This is because the body's immune system
responds slowly to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Blood tests may
antibodies to the disease even though the infection
may be present. So a negative test result at this stage does not rule out a
diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Blood tests may be used if you have symptoms of later Lyme disease,
such as problems involving the joints, heart, or nervous system. But
commonly done blood tests may not be able to tell the difference between an active infection and
a past infection that was treated and cured. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can tell whether you have an active Lyme disease infection, but it is not available in many places.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristine Hahn, MD - EpidemiologyW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Current as ofMarch 3, 2017
Current as of:
March 3, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
6051 US Hwy. 49
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
CONNECT WITH FORREST HEALTH
Notice of Privacy Practices · PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST · FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE · NON-DISCRIMINATION NOTICE
REQUEST FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR RELEASE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION 6051 US HIGHWAY 49, HATTIESBURG MS 39401 · 601-288-7000 · © FORREST HEALTH · ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ·