Labcorp has published new testing protocols due to some new regulation by the FDC (who like to ruin all competent medical care). They state that will no longer run a stand-alone Western Blot test. They will only run a Western Blot if there is an equivocal or positive ELISA test performed first. At first look this is not that alarming, until you realize that the ELISA is a completely useless and inaccurate measure of whether or not someone had Lyme disease. ELISA misses Lyme Disease on average 50% of the time. I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a useless test. I could just guess and would be accurate 50% of the time!
When requiring a highly inaccurate ELISA test and then required a “not quite as bad but still not accurate” Western Blot it’s practically impossible to get a Lyme Diagnosis. 52% of Lyme Disease patients are negative on the ELISA test and positive on Western Blot. If it’s required to have a positive on an ELISA before getting a Western Blot, these patients would be diagnosed incorrectly.
Canada actually has a health warning out about how the ELISA is known to be an inaccurate test and shouldn’t be used for diagnosis.The general problem with both Lyme tests is that they are based on the patient’s antibody response to the New England strain of the causative bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Unfortunately, according to recent research at Johns Hopkins, those tests can miss up to 60% of cases because they are not sensitive to other strains of Boreelia burgdorferi.
It doesn’t take a genius to see this as problematic, so why are these tests still be used as diagnostic criteria? Probably because of pressure from the insurance companies. No positive on our awesomely inaccurate tests? Too bad, we won’t pay for your treatment. A Lyme Disease diagnosis should be a clinical diagnosis by a competent doctor. I’m so mad about this I could scream.