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Challenges of laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease ‒ Questionnaire survey results.

UNLABELLED: Lyme disease. Our second goal was to identify bacterial and viral co-infections occurring concurrently with Lyme disease. Furthermore, it was our intention to also analyze the correlation of laboratory testing with the occurrence of erythema migrans (EM).

BACKGROUND: The accuracy in diagnostic testing for Lyme disease in the early stages of infection is an important factor necessary for delivering proper treatment to patients.

METHODS: A total of 173 individuals with confirmed Lyme disease or with laboratory testing underway participated in the quantitative survey.

RESULTS: ELISA was the first test conducted in 51% of the respondents, 28% of whom yielded positive findings of both IgM and IgG antibody classes. The positivity of ELISA test findings was confirmed by Western blot in 100% of results. Negative results of ELISA were consistent with Western blot only in less than half of the patients. More than half of the respondents had not been tested for any bacterial or viral co-infections. The results of serological testing were not consistent with clinical findings in all cases, including those with clinically discernible skin manifestation of erythema migrans.

CONCLUSION: The comparison of results obtained by ELISA and Western blot revealed significant discrepancies. Simultaneous infections by vectors with several pathogens were detected (Tab. 3, Fig. 2, Ref. 15).

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