Timing is Critical
Upon initial infection, the number of infectious organisms in the body slowly begins to rise and may be detectable by PCR. The antibody response typically takes several weeks to develop.
This results in a “window period” for testing Lyme disease, which is the period early in infection where a PCR test will be positive, and a serology test will be negative.
Focusing on these principles can minimize false negatives and the possibility of developing chronic symptoms that could have been avoided if the right test was ordered at the right time.
What test to order
Knowing which tests to order at which stage of infection is critical to making an accurate diagnosis.
*Diagnosis: Bacteremia in Relation to Serologies chart created by Medical Leader, Philip Molloy, M.D., Medical Director of Tickborne Disease Program, Sonic Healthcare USA