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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > Lyme Disease Antibody

Lyme Disease Antibody

Alternate Names : Lyme Disease Serology

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

This test helps diagnose Lyme disease. It tests to see if an individual has antibodies to the organism that causes Lyme disease in the blood serum. Lyme disease is caused by a microorganism or spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi. The immune system of a person with Lyme disease makes antibodies against that spirochete, and this test detects those antibodies.

Who is a candidate for the test?

This test is done to help diagnose Lyme disease.

How is the test performed?

A blood sample is taken from a vein on the forearm or hand. First, the skin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube, or "tourniquet," is wrapped around the upper arm. This enlarges the veins in the lower arm by restricting blood flow through them. A fine needle is gently inserted into a vein, and the tourniquet is removed. Blood flows from the vein through the needle, and is collected in a syringe or vial. After the needle is withdrawn, the puncture site is covered with a bandage for a short time to prevent bleeding.

The spirochete that causes Lyme disease is grown in culture and put on a microscope slide. The slide is incubated with serum from the individual's blood to allow the antibody, if present, to attach to the spirochete. A fluorescent-labeled antiglobulin, or antibody to the Lyme disease antibody, is then placed on the slide and lit up with ultraviolet light. If the sample fluoresces, or appears to glow, there is the antibody to Lyme disease in the serum.


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Lyme Disease Antibody: Preparation & Expectations

Author: David T. Moran, MD
Reviewer: William M. Boggs, MD
Date Reviewed: 09/11/01

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