Lyme disease is also known as borreliosis, is an infectious disease passed on to humans by ticks (are parasites that feed on the blood of mammals, birds) and infects them by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi).
The ticks bites the person making a minute hole into the skin and pierces its mouthparts into the hole of the skin and releases the bacteria, that attacks the persons tough parts like scalp, armpits and groin and spreads the infectious disease called Lyme disease.
Causes of Lyme disease
The factors that tip humans to develop Lyme disease include:
- Lyme disease is caused by bacteria borrelia burgdorferi and barrelia mayonii
- The Lyme disease causing bacteria enters into skin by its carrier tick parasite.
- These ticks usually found on deer suck the bacterium in their stomachs and these infected ticks, when they bite the human skin, transmit the bacteria into the body through skin and infect the parts of body.
- Lyme diseases is not contagious, it does spread from person to person.
Blood Tests to detect Lyme disease
Tick borne disease or Lyme disease is not easily diagnosed as the signs appear several days after the tick bite , but if you have a rash, and is not healing , see a doctor to avoid risk of Lyme disease.
The doctor may order blood tests such as:
- Serology – it the main test that is used to detect for antibodies (Antibodies are proteins that your body produces in response to harmful substances called antigens) identifying antibodies to the bacteria can help confirm the diagnosis. These tests are most reliable a few weeks after an infection, to detect antibodies that are produced by the immune system, responding to the Lyme infection
- Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) – The EIA test involves taking a sample of your blood, a test that detects and measures antibodies in your blood. The blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. where the sample blood will be put in petri dish containing the specific antigen associated to the condition for which you are being tested. If your blood contains antibodies to the antigen, the two will bind together. The technician will check this by adding an enzyme to the petri dish and observing how your blood and the antigen react. If the colour of the sample changes, it indicates you have an infection
- Western blot test – If the EIA test comes out positive, then this test is usually carried out to confirm the diagnosis. Western blot detects antibodies to several proteins of B. burgdorferi.
- Immunofluorescence (IFA) tests -Immunofluorescence is a technique used for light microscopy ( view objects and areas of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye )with a fluorescence microscope (refers to any microscope that uses fluorescence to generate an image)This technique is used for determination of antibodies against infectious agents, If the sample test is positive, specific antibodies in the diluted serum sample attach to the antigens coupled to a solid phase ,then the attached antibodies are stained with fluorescein-labelled anti-human antibodies and visualized with the fluorescence microscope.
Treatment for Lyme disease
- Antibiotics work for treating Lyme disease
- Commonly prescribed oral antibiotics for treating Lyme disease are doxycycline, cefuroxime axetil or amoxicillin.
- People with neurological or cardiac illness may need intravenous treatment with medications such as penicillin or ceftriaxone.