Lyme disease – related important and practical information
Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease caused by Lyme spirochetes. Unrecognised and untreated, it causes serious consequences, affects the skin, joints, nervous system and heart. Diagnosed fast and adequately treated, it is 100% curable. Curing Lyme disease once does not give permanent immunity. This disease can be experienced many times.
There have been many myths around Lyme disease in recent years that the medical world tries yet often fails to fight with. For many, it is a mysterious and incurable disease, while often the symptoms attributed to Lyme disease are related to other, much more serious chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or depression.
The media, especially in the summer, can demonise the topic of Lyme disease. However, the popularity of this issue causes more and more patients to recognise Lyme disease themselves when seeing a tick bite with a characteristic erythematic and/or joint discomfort, or when experiencing fatigue.
Tick bites seldom cause the transfer of Borrelia spirochetes. The most commonly found species in Poland is Borrelia burgdorferi. Only a small percentage of pricks lead to illness. Most infections are asymptomatic and eliminated by the human immune system. It is estimated that the risk of falling ill after a single bite by an infected tick does not exceed 1%. In contrast, anti-Borrelia antibodies can be present in up to 12% of people who have been pricked by a tick.
In Poland, we observe hyper-recognition in Lyme disease tests. The quality of tests for Lyme infection varies from one laboratory to another. Therefore, before deciding on expensive and unnecessary diagnostics, it is worth consulting an experienced and competent doctor.
Lyme disease diagnostic standards
In Poland, doctors base their treatment and diagnostic methods on the Recommendations of the Polish Society of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, in which it is not recommended to perform costly and unnecessary diagnosis of Lyme disease:
- searching for B.burgdorferi antigens in cerebrospinal fluid and urine
- searching for cysts, spheroplasts or L-forms borrelia burgdorferi
- assessment of CD57 + / CD3 lymphocyte subtypes
- lymphocyte transformation test (LTT)
- marking of circulating immune complexes (KKI)
The diagnostic standard is a two-stage laboratory method, which involves performing a high-sensitivity and lower specificity test (ELISA) in the first stage, and in the second stage in case of doubtful results – a high specificity verification test (Western-blot test).
DERMEA will professionally help you in diagnosing and the treatment of Lyme disease as recommended by globally-recognised medical societies.
We recommend that you have your blood tested at the Infectious Disease Clinic, ul. Wolska 37, phone 22 33 55 332. No fasting is required for a Lyme disease blood test.