Tiny ticks, some as small as a poppy seed, can cause serious illness to those they attach to. Your blood is their food and now the Stram Center of Integrative Medicine, in part with Adirondack CC, wants to test your blood to find out if tick born diseases like Lyme disease can be detected in your DNA.
The new test is called LymeSeq. The clinical study is being held on July 27 at the Stram Center in Delmar.
Jennifer Mager NP, of the Stram Center, said they are looking for “people that might have had Lyme, tested positive, have been treated for Lyme in the past and that just don’t feel well or that feel that they may have Lyme disease.”
Mager says the Western Blot Test currently used is deeply flawed. “Probably detects less than 50 percent of cases of Lyme disease.”
The LymeSeq test will also detect other infections carried by ticks. “It also can detect some of the big co-infections that we’re seeing and that can be just as if not more problematic than Lyme.”
In Virginia, doctors must tell patients that get a negative Western Blot result that it doesn’t mean they don’t have Lyme disease.
“We see so many sick people with Lyme disease and a lot of people never have ever had a positive test but have multiple known tick bites in their history.”
New York State Health Department Research Scientist Bryon Backenson says he believes errors are made in regards to when patients receive the test.
“I think often we get a lot of negatives because the test is done a little bit too early, but again, it is sort of what we have so far, and if there’s a better way to test for Lyme disease that gives good consistent results, we’d be all for it,” Backenson said.
Information from the CDC.