America Needs to Step Up Lyme Disease Testing

Finally, better testing to spot and treat Lyme disease is here. Coined the iSpot test, when it is coupled with our targeted treatment methods, patients get better answers and targeted treatment options. This couldn’t have come at a better time because US patients are struggling with Lyme disease testing and treatment according to a brand new article from ABC News. Don’t look so surprised, it’s true. The article, called “Man's Ravaging Lyme Disease Eludes Doctors for a Year,” featured a man named Alan Bargfrede who acquired Lyme disease abroad and was struggling with treatment in the US. For some reason the positive Elisa test he took in Europe was not taken seriously by American doctors. According to Susan Donaldson James of ABC News, “Bargfrede said it took nearly a year to confirm that he had Lyme disease after a string of “negative” tests, dangerous treatments and disbelief from most of his American doctors.” This is unacceptable. Shouldn’t the best country in the world have the best testing? We think so. For those of us that been caring for patients with chronic Lyme disease the news comes as no surprise. Fortunately, the testing and treatment situation for Lyme disease can be improved and our group believes to have one fantastic solution for helping patients receive great testing coupled with targeted treatment.

How to Spot Lyme Disease When Other Tests Fail

The iSpot Lyme test (featured in the above video) is one possible testing alternative which focuses on the cellular immune response and has 84% specificity to Borrelia burgdorfi infection (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease). Perhaps the new iSpot Lyme test could be the answer patients are looking for? Only time will tell. In the meantime, Susan Donaldson James says, “The CDC acknowledges that its recommended test can miss Lyme disease in its early stages, and it only catches an American species of the bacterium – not the one Bargfrede contracted in Spain.” In our medical opinion, good histories, immunological markets, Igenx and co-infections all need to be assessed. Treatments need to be implemented to address all infections, biofilm, establish immunity and to include reestablishing nutrition and amino acid decencies. Our medical group does all of this and more.

Clinically we have been treating Lyme disease patients for 15 years and we have learned some things along the way. The biggest misconception that the CDC and mainstream medicine has is that chronic Lyme disease does not exist. Dr. Paul Mead, chief of epidemiology and surveillance for the CDC’s Lyme disease program said, “We rely on things that are tried and true,” and, “If you are sick for years and come back with a negative test for Lyme disease, you have to open your mind that it might be something else.” What Mead and the CDC apparently don’t take into account is the role that co-infections, secondary infections, compromised immunity and decencies play in causing lingering symptoms to manifest themselves chronically in Lyme disease patients; ultimately keeping patients from getting better. This understanding requires a better and more detailed functional medicine diagnosis as well as targeted treatment to help.

The CDC recommends a two-tiered serological test for diagnosis of Lyme: an ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay), followed by a Western blot. Both of these tests spot antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the Lyme disease infection. The problem with this type of testing is the prevalence of false positives and false negatives that are seen in the patients that we treat. The current testing does not catch Lyme disease early enough, in our medical opinion. A push for better treatment and testing must be made. Stand up people. From Mead himself, “Certainly there is a lot of movement in terms using [the C6-based ELISA test] more broadly in the U.S.,” he also said, “We are suggesting that as data becomes available to support that alternative, it would be a good possibility.” Why not hurry up with this…and what is the hold up? Why are Elisa tests not the same for everybody? Clearly it could have helped this man Bargfrede, and if he is the only one who has been covered on national news lately, think of how many more patients have been struggling with Lyme disease and are told they are making it up. Our goal as a medical group is to help our patients get their quality of life back and demystify proper testing and treatment. If you have any questions about Lyme disease treatment, feel free to contact us.


[1] James, Susan Donaldson. “Man's Ravaging Lyme Disease Eludes Doctors for a Year.” ABC News. July 8, 2014.