Laboratory tests that are not recommended
Some laboratories offer Lyme disease testing using assays whose accuracy and clinical usefulness have not been adequately established. Examples of unvalidated tests include:
- Capture assays for antigens in urine
- Culture, immunofluorescence staining, or cell sorting of cell wall-deficient or cystic forms of B. burgdorferi
- Lymphocyte transformation tests
- Quantitative CD57 lymphocyte assays
- “Reverse Western blots”
- In-house criteria for interpretation of immunoblots
- Measurements of antibodies in joint fluid (synovial fluid)
- IgM or IgG tests without a previous ELISA/EIA/IFA
- Concerns Regarding a New Culture Method for Borrelia burgdorferi Not Approved for the Diagnosis of Lyme Disease. MMWR, 2014;63:333
- Johnson BJ, Pilgard MA, Russell TM. Assessment of new culture method for detection of Borrelia species from serum of Lyme disease patients. J Clin Microbiol 2014;52:721–4.
- Notice to readers: caution regarding testing for Lyme disease. MMWR, CDC Surveillance Summary, 2005;54:125.
- Marques A, Brown MR, Fleisher TA: Natural killer cell counts are not different between patients with post-Lyme disease syndrome and controls. Clin Vaccine Immunol 2009;16:1249–1250.
- Page last reviewed: March 4, 2015
- Page last updated: November 19, 2015
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