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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.

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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 most common vector-borne disease in the United States.

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 36–48 hours before transmitting the disease.

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 CDC lists some symptoms that people may develop up to 30 days after experiencing a tick bite. These include:

MedlinePlus explains that symptoms of untreated Lyme disease can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, causing individuals to experience:

Furthermore, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) states that even with treatment, some symptoms may become permanent. Some people also develop arthritis or dementia, or experience concentration difficulty during the months or years following the initial tick bite.

People can find many at-home Lyme disease tests online.

They typically come with instructions, and most companies require individuals to collect their samples at home and mail it to a lab for testing. The lab then issues the results, and a person can access them via email or through a company’s online portal.

People may also be able to speak with a company’s medical team to discuss their results and, if applicable, any next steps.

MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria where possible:

  • Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in CLIA-certified labs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
  • Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.

Below are five Lyme disease tests a person can find online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for a quick turnaround: LetsGetChecked Lyme Infection Test

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 Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification, meaning it is compliant with federal certifications.

Pros and cons

The LetsGetChecked Lyme Infection Test features the following advantages and disadvantages:

nursing team available to discuss resultshigher price tag for single-test kits
free shippingshipping unavailable to all countries
payment available through a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA)

This Lyme disease test costs $119 and comes with free shipping.

Learn more about the LetsGetchecked brand here.

Best easy-to-use option: Everlywell Lyme Disease Test

Everlywell’s Lyme Disease Test checks for a person’s exposure to any of the three strains of Borrelia bacteria. The test may suit 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.

Pros and cons

There are some advantages and disadvantages that Everlywell services offer:

CLIA-certified labslonger time to publish results
free shippingnot available in New York
accept HSA and FSA paymentsrelatively expensive
independent board certified physicians who review and approve tests

The kit costs $109.

Learn more about Everlywell here.

Best in-person test: QuestDirect Lyme Disease Test

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.

Pros and cons

QuestDirect has some advantages and disadvantages:

results available online through MyQuest portal additional physician fee
the company health team will contact individuals directly if results require prompt attentionno receipt for health plan reimbursement

The cost for the test is $89, with an additional $6 fee that covers the physician’s visit.

Best for lower budgets: Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test

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.

Pros and cons

This table lists the test’s advantages and disadvantages based on customer reviews:

Pros Cons
affordable does not test for other infections that ticks carry
easy to use
suitable for pets

The Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test is available to purchase online for around $25.

Best with multi-collection methods: IGeneX Lyme Disease Test

People who wish to buy a test kit from IGeneX have to pay a $20 deposit fee. They then 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.

Pros and cons

The test comes with some advantages and disadvantages:

CLIA-certified labsnot a true home test — doctors help clients complete the paperwork and receive their results
doctors helps in choosing a test kit paperwork and billing systems can be complex
several collection methods available

This test is available to purchase online for around $295–546.

Best for genetic information: SelfDecode DNA Test Kit

This home test requires a cheek swab and people can use it to test for chronic conditions related to Lyme disease, such as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

After collecting the sample, a person should mail it to the company’s lab. They should receive their results in around 6–8 weeks.

People can then discuss the next steps with the company’s medical team.

SelfDecode’s test comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and international shipping.

Pros and cons

The table below lists the SelfDecode test’s advantages and disadvantages:

annual subscription and lifetime access optionslong waiting time for results — up to 8 weeks
money-back guaranteestores people’s genetic information
worldwide shipping

Individuals can enroll in an annual subscription for $97 or choose the lifetime access option for $297.

The table below provides a comparison between the six at-home Lyme disease tests:

Standout featuresquick turnaround of resultseasy to usefor testing in-person with a doctoraffordableoffers several collection methodsoffers personalized health information based on people’s genes
Sample collection typefingerprick fingerprickblood testtests the tickblood or urinecheek swab
Turnaround timeafter 5–7 dayswithin days but does not state whenwithin 5 dayswithin 3 business daysafter 10 daysafter 6–8 weeks
Price$119$109$89 + physician visit fee$25$295–546 $97 annual subscription or $297 lifetime access

According to MedlinePlus, people should arrange for a Lyme disease test if they:

  • develop symptoms
  • have recently removed a tick
  • have visited areas where there are ticks but did cover their skin
  • live in areas where there are many Lyme disease cases, such as the Northeast or Midwest U.S.

Individuals may require more than one test if they believe they have Lyme disease. This is because many tests check for the presence of antibodies, which may take weeks to develop.

According to the CDC, people should perform two tests for Lyme disease, and they can use the same blood sample.

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 include:

Undetected and untreated Lyme disease can spread and affect more areas, such as the joints, heart, and nervous system. Additional symptoms may include:

Learn more about the symptoms of Lyme disease.

People who develop new symptoms even though they have had Lyme disease previously should speak with a medical professional. A 2014 study states that individuals who have contracted Lyme disease develop a strain-specific protective immunity. However, they can still acquire a different strain that causes the same disease.

The following are commonly asked questions about Lyme disease tests.

What is the most accurate Lyme disease test?

According to the CDC, a blood test is the most accurate Lyme disease test. Some conditions may cause similar symptoms to Lyme disease. Therefore, a blood test can provide a better diagnosis than a symptom assessment.

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?

The Lyme disease tests listed in this article range from around $50–600.

What is the outlook for Lyme disease?

The outlook for Lyme disease is typically positive. Upon early diagnosis, doctors can prescribe antibiotics for around 3–4 weeks. Other forms of the disease may require additional treatment, but the prolonged use of antibiotics has not proven successful.

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.