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Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is a tick-borne infectious disease that can cause various symptoms, such as fever, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes. Many brands manufacture Lyme disease tests for people who believe they have contracted the infection or visited tick-prone areas. These kits are available in major pharmacies, retail stores, and online.
This article explores what Lyme disease is and some test kits that individuals can consider buying. It also describes when a person should speak with a doctor and includes some frequently asked questions.
Lyme disease is an infection that develops from the Borrelia bacterium. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is the
The bacterium spreads to humans through the bite of a black-legged tick — also known as the deer tick — carrying the infection. These insects attach to the skin for
However, most people contract the infection through nymphs. These are tiny, immature ticks less than 2 millimeters in size and equivalent to the size of poppy seeds, making them hard to detect.
The below are five Lyme disease tests a person can find online.
Please note that the writer and medical editor of this article have not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
LetsGetChecked’s kit tests for Borellia IgG and IgM antibodies through a fingerprick collection. The website states people should receive the test 5–7 days after ordering.
The company requires individuals to activate the kit, so they can collect the sample and send it back using the prepaid shipping label. They can then access their results on their online account within 2–5 days.
In addition, LetsGetChecked’s laboratories have a
This Lyme disease test costs $119 and comes with free shipping.
Pros and cons
The LetsGetChecked Lyme Infection Test features the following advantages:
- There is a nursing team available to discuss results.
- The company offers free shipping.
- People can pay through a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA).
However, the company also has some disadvantages. Firstly, its single-test kits can be expensive. Additionally, shipping is not available to all countries.
Everlywell’s Lyme Disease Test checks for a person’s exposure to any of the three strains of Borrelia bacteria. The test is suitable for those experiencing fatigue, headaches, or joint pain. The test offers a fingerprick sample collection.
Once people receive their kits, they can register them online, collect their sample, and return it to the labs using the prepaid shipping labels. They can access their results through their online dashboards.
The kit costs $109.
Pros and cons
There are some advantages that Everlywell services offer:
- It works with CLIA-certified labs.
- Independent board-certified physicians review and approve people’s tests.
- It offers free shipping.
- It accepts HSA and FSA payments.
QuestDirect’s Lyme Disease Test is available in person. People purchase their test and book an appointment with a nearby Quest Patient Service Center, where a medical professional collects the sample.
They then receive their results through their MyQuest accounts.
The cost for the test is $89, with an additional $6 fee that covers the physician’s visit.
Pros and cons
QuestDirect has some advantages. Firstly, the MyQuest portal allows individuals to view their results online. Additionally, the company’s health team can contact the customer if their results require prompt attention.
However, disadvantages include the fact that there is an additional physician fee. The service is also unable to provide a receipt for health plan reimbursement.
The Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test is a DNA tick test that checks whether the tick carries a Lyme disease pathogen.
The test requires a person to take one to several ticks from the same host and place them in the specimen bag. They then mail them to the lab using the pre-addressed mailing label.
Individuals can expect to receive their results through email, phone, or mail within 3 business days. The available screenings feature basic, advanced, and comprehensive test panels that check multiple pathogens.
At the time of publication, this test costs $25.
Pros and cons
This test features several advantages. Reviews state:
- It is easy to use.
- It is affordable.
- People can use it on their pets.
However, it does not test for other infections that ticks carry.
People who wish to buy a test kit from IGeneX have to pay a $20 deposit fee. They need to complete the paperwork with their doctor to determine which tests they should use.
Afterward, an individual can collect their sample at home and mail it to IGeneX. The company then sends the results to the doctor.
The tests cost $295–546.
Pros and cons
People who use IGeneX may benefit from some of its advantages:
- The testing centers are CLIA-certified.
- Doctors help the clients choose a test kit.
- There are several collection methods available.
However, there are some disadvantages to this service. Firstly, it is not a true home test, as people have to work with a doctor to complete the paperwork and receive their results. Additionally, the paperwork and billing system can be complex.
According to the
If they receive a negative result, they do not need to perform another test. However, if their first test is positive or indeterminate, it is best to test again.
The CDC states the overall result is only positive for Lyme disease when the first and second tests produce a positive result.
Tests detect IgM and IgG antibodies that the body produces in response to an infection. The IgM antibodies appear early in response to the exposure, while the IgG antibodies appear 4–6 weeks after the infection and can persist for years.
However, individuals may develop antibodies several weeks after exposure. Therefore, those who test before the antibodies develop can get a false-negative result.
False positives can occur if a person has other conditions, including
Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to help prevent late Lyme disease and its symptoms, including chronic Lyme arthritis and Lyme carditis.
A person should consult with a doctor if they have a tick bite or believe a tick has bitten them after visiting tick-prone regions.
They should also seek medical help if they experience any signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. These
Undetected and untreated Lyme disease can spread and affect more areas, such as the joints, heart, and nervous system. Additional symptoms may include:
People who develop new symptoms even though they have had Lyme disease previously should speak with a medical professional. A
The following are commonly asked questions about Lyme disease tests.
What is the most accurate Lyme disease test?
A blood test is the most accurate Lyme disease test, according to the
What are the first symptoms of Lyme disease?
People with Lyme disease develop an erythema migrans rash. They can also have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and joint pain.
How much does a Lyme disease test cost?
Tests for Lyme disease range from $50 to more than $600. It depends on the brand and the type of sample a person carries out.
What is the outlook for Lyme disease?
The outlook for Lyme disease is generally positive. Doctors can prescribe antibiotics around 2–4 weeks when they provide an early diagnosis. Other forms of the disease may require antibiotic treatment.
However, complications due to delayed treatment are also curable and respond well with treatment.
Lyme disease is an infection that spreads through the bite of a black-legged tick. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in reducing the chance of complications.
People can find test kits online, many of which offer a fingerprick collection.
Many companies work with CLIA-certified labs and issue results within a few days. Some also have a nursing team to discuss results and further treatment with the individual if required.