Lyme Disease Test Accuracy?

Updated on April 15, 2013
R.D. asks from Port Jefferson, NY
9 answers


Three years ago my son was but by a deer tick and it was on him at least over night. The ped did not treat him but did a Lyme test 6 weeks later that was negative. I have just been reading about how inaccurate that first lyme ElLISA titer actually is and I am wondering if i should have him retested. Around that time he did have a rash a(not at the site of the tick bite) and even a fever (six weeks later) but the ped say neither were related and now am I panicking that this was missed. He doesn't have fevers now or complain of any pain, yet he does have ADHD issues at school.

Does anyone have experience with this?

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answers from New York on

Why would you retest him. Does not have any symptoms. Why look moor trouble that is not there. Forget about it.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Here is my Lyme story... I had some joint pain at the age of 19, and because I hiked in the northeast a lot, one doc suggested Lyme disease (the rest treated me like a hypochondriac.) The test they gave was inconclusive, which is apparently common in Lyme, and you can read about why online. So the doc gave me precautionary antibiotics. A full ten years later, I was having a problem with muscle twitches (which ironically probably was hypochondria related) and they did a blood panel. Supposedly this panel gave conclusive evidence that I had indeed had Lyme disease in the past. And btw, I never remember having a tick, although I've had one since. So yes, the tests can indeed be inconclusive. There's something about eastern blot vs western blot you can read about. However, I have never heard that ADHD symptoms can be related to Lyme, only joint pain and muscular symptoms. I am also not sure what the treatment is for very old infections. I would only have your son retested if he exhibits severe symptoms for which you can find no other explanation, and before you do it, research the different kinds of tests.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Honestly, I would just get him retested to know absolutely for sure...and for peace of mind.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

He would have symptoms by now if he had Lyme disease. He would be sick. I've not heard that anyone considers Lyme disease a cause for ADHD. And.......why would you trust the accuracy of the Lyme test now since you're not trusting the test 3 years ago. But if it will make you feel better ask the doctor if he will give him another test.



answers from Santa Barbara on

I work for a global testing laboratory and in we have six different tests for Lyme Disease. They are all very accurate. If you are stressed, have another run.



answers from Washington DC on

As you can see- some people say "He hasn't had symptoms, forget it" while others say "I was found years later to have had it at one time."

I would err on the side of caution and have him retested. Tests for Lyme can be inaccurate. Around here, because there are a lot of ticks, there has been a lot of news coverage of Lyme and how hard it can be to diagnose and how tests might not catch it the first time.

My daughter's friend had Lyme and never showed a symptom other than fatigue. But they did catch it pretty quickly and she was cured with a course of potent antibiotics. They tested because she had had a tick on her (nope -- no rash at the site) and it happened in a part of the country where there was Lyme; though she hadn't had any rash, when she started feeling fatigued, her parents immediately had her tested and didn't wait for any more symptoms to appear.



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter was diagnosed when she got up one morning and was unable to walk due to pain in her knee.
Get the test though if it will give you peace of mind.



answers from Minneapolis on

If he doesn't have any symptoms, he's not sick. Deer tick bites don't cause ADHD. And, only a small percentage of deer ticks carry Lyme's and only a percentage of them pass along the disease when they bite. Also, unless you had the tick identified by an expert, many ticks look similar to a deer tick.



answers from Washington DC on

Find a Lyme literate doctor (LLMD) and have him tested again if it would make you feel better. The tests can be inconclusive - even when there's a distinct bulls-eye rash at the site. I wouldn't panic, but do your research first. When untreated, Lyme can take on many forms depending on the person. To me it sounds like he's fine and didn't actually get Lyme, but I would follow up for peace of mind, if nothing else. They have more accurate tests now than they did three years ago. It's not related to ADHD, as far as I know. Good luck.

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