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Manual and testing

A comprehensive color guide to Tick Borne Diseases that includes a way to determine which disease a patient might have, symptoms and descriptions of illnesses caused by ticks e.g., Lyme disease, Babesiosis, Erlichiosis as well as information and pictures of ticks.

Click on the here to download a copy of the Physician’s Reference Manual.

Testing for Lyme disease

(CDC information)

Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, objective physical findings (such as erythema migrans, facial palsy, or arthritis), and a history of possible exposure to infected ticks.

CDC recommends a two-step process when testing blood for evidence of Lyme disease. Both steps can be done using the same blood sample.

1) The first step uses an ELISA or IFA test. These tests are designed to be very “sensitive,” meaning that almost everyone with Lyme disease, and some people who don’t have Lyme disease, will test positive. If the ELISA or IFA is negative, it is highly unlikely that the person has Lyme disease, and no further testing is recommended. If the ELISA or IFA is positive or indeterminate (sometimes called “equivocal”), a second step should be performed to confirm the results.

2) The second step uses a Western blot test. Used appropriately, this test is designed to be “specific,” meaning that it will usually be positive only if a person has been truly infected. If the Western blot is negative, it suggests that the first test was a false positive, which can occur for several reasons.

Click here for Center for Disease Control website with information about diagnosis and testing.

Laboratories that will test ticks

1. University of Massachusetts Extension

UMass Extension, in cooperation with researchers at UMass Amherst, will assess specimens to determine whether your tick is a black legged tick (deer ticks), and if so, will determine whether or not they carry the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease.There is a fee of $35 per sample.

The test can detect the Lyme disease pathogen from a single tick.

To submit a sample, download the submission form and follow the instructions found on their website. Click here.

2. State University of New York, Stony Brook

This laboratory is a division of the Clinical Immunology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. This laboratory has been performing Lyme disease testing on clinical specimens since 1984. The laboratory is fully licensed and accredited by the NY Department of Health, JCAHO, and CAP. The laboratory performs approximately 36,000 Lyme disease tests on patient specimens per year. Click here to go the website.

3. IdentifyUS LLC. 

IdentifyUS provides professional services to quickly identify pests and other items of interest or concern. We work with individuals, businesses, schools, laboratories, physicians, museums, libraries and just about anybody else who needs expert identification of a pest species. We concentrate on bed bugs, ticks, and head lice because the need is so great, however, we have broad entomological experience and are growing our network of experts to constantly expand our service offerings with a wider range of identification skills so check back for updated listings of pest species that we cover. Click here to go the website.

Brigham and Women's Lyme Disease Prevention Program