Borrelia Antibodies (Lyme Disease) Borrelia burgdorferi

Presence of antibodies confirms infection with the Lyme Disease spiral bacterium (spirochaete) known as Borrelia burgdorferi by a bite from an infected tick. Patients bitten by an infected tick which is not removed within a day or so may develop Lyme disease. An expanding rash would usually appear at the site of the bite within 3 to 30 days in a large proportion of those infected. The rash spreads and often develops a ‘bulls-eye’ appearance. May also develop flu-like symptoms with aching joints and muscles. The disease can later affect the nervous system, joints and other body systems.

 

Tests

Borrelia Antibodies IgM (BORM): detectable after 2–3 weeks increasing up to 6 weeks.

Borrelia Antibodies IgG/IgM (BORR): detectable after several weeks increasing to maximum at 4–6 months and may remain at high levels for many years.

Borrelia Confirmation (Immunoblot) (BORC): The ELISA test is sensitive but has a well-documented high false-positive rate, giving positive results in cases of glandular fever, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. If the ELISA is positive, testing by Immunoblot confirms a diagnosis of Lyme disease. IgM and IgG antibodies are tested separately. It is essential that details of the IgG +IgM Elisa are provided for this test.