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New Test for Lyme Disease May be More Accurate

photo 2011 Elizabeth Nicodemus | more info (via: Wylio)Lyme disease is a bacterial infection of dogs and humans. It is spread by ticks. It causes...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jul 13th 2011


Lone Star Tick, Paynetown SRA, Monroe County INphoto 2011 Elizabeth Nicodemus | more info (via: Wylio)
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection of dogs and humans. It is spread by ticks. It causes hyperactivity of the immune system, that can lead to arthritis and other immune-mediated problems. And, it is devilishly hard to diagnose.

Traditional diagnosis of Lyme disease involves running “tick titers” to look for antibodies to the spirochete (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is in a class of bugs known as spirochetes). However, a positive titer means nothing more than exposure to the spirochete or possibly a Lyme vaccine — it does not mean that an active Lyme infection is occurring.

A recent article published by a Belgian enthusiast put it best:

It has been very difficult with present tests to distinguish between dogs with antibodies from having been vaccinated for Lyme Disease and dogs who are actually infected with Lyme Disease. The new test can make that distinction and in addition, tell a dog with an early stage infection from a dog with a low grade chronic infection. This additional information can help your veterinarian plan the ideal treatment protocol.

The test is called the Multiplex Lyme Disease Test. It is available to veterinarians through the Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine.