Results from a Universal Tick Test should not be used in place of medical consultation with your physician. However, information regarding the type of tick that bit you and the diseases it may carry can be useful in deciding treatment options. Multiple pathogens can be transmitted from a single tick bite and early detection and treatment are critical. Symptoms of tick-borne disease can be latent, non-specific, absent or complicated by co-infections. Currently, serological diagnostic tests for Lyme are unreliable leading to false negatives and misdiagnosis.
The Universal Tick Test detects multiple human pathogens found in a tick after a tick bite. Specific DNA sequence (or 'fingerprint') of each pathogen is targeted and amplified using DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). When performed correctly, PCR-based detection provides superior sensitivity and accuracy.
Our tests are highly sensitive and accurate.
- We can detect multiple pathogens from a single tick.
- We use the same scientific methods used in peer-reviewed journal articles.
- Stringent internal controls built into the panel ensure the validity of the results.
- Your results are reviewed and signed by a Ph.D level scientist.
- All ticks are tested for Borrelia using multiple independent analyses to improve sensitivity and accuracy.
|PATHOGEN TESTED||HUMAN DISEASE|
|Borrelia general species||Borreliosis|
|Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato)||Lyme disease|
|Borrelia mayonii||Lyme disease|
|Borrelia miyamotoi||Relapsing fever|
|Bartonella general species **||Cat scratch disease & trench fever|
|Anaplasma phagocytophilum||Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA)|
|Rickettsia rickettsii||Rocky Mtn. spotted fever|
|Rickettsia parkeri||Spotted fever rickettsiosis|
** Additional charges for Bartonella general species may apply
Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA)
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:
Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis:
Worldwide, ticks transmit over 20 known pathogens resulting in significant disease in humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. In North America, Lyme disease has reached epidemic proportions and is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the US with >300,000 cases each year. The deer tick (also called blacklegged tick or Ixodes scapularis) serves as the principal vector of the spirochete bacterium that causes Lyme disease and also transmits the causative agents of babesiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), hard tick relapsing fever, Powassan virus and others. In addition to deer ticks, other related ticks such as Ixodes spinipalpis are also known carriers of Lyme. The diagnosis of Lyme disease can be difficult due to the occurrence of non-specific “flu-like” symptoms including fatigue, nausea, fever, headaches, joint, and muscle pain. Early detection and treatment are critical. If left untreated, infection can cause chronic Lyme disease. Notably, symptoms can become more difficult to treat over time. Currently, many medical professionals rely on serology tests for diagnosis. Due to sensitivity limitations, these tests can be inaccurate and it may take several weeks for a positive result after a tick bite. After tick removal, tick testing for the presence of tick-borne pathogens provides useful information to support early treatment decisions.
Every tick will be identified and tested for Lyme as well as all the other human pathogens listed on our test panel (see ‘What pathogens are included if I order a Universal Tick Test?’).
Results will be emailed to you as an attachment. A confirmation email will be sent to you when your tick arrives. A second email will include test results described in a full report including tick identification, tick image and a full explanation of both the results and expert interpretation. With PRIORITY laboratory processing, results are guaranteed within 72 hr. of receipt of your specimen. STANDARD laboratory processing is guaranteed within 3-5 days after receipt of your specimen.
Normally, we do not expect any issues if you can recover at least 50% of the tick’s body and properly store your tick in either a dry environment such as in a zip lock bag at room temperature or in the refrigerator or freezer. Excessive mold, heat and/or harsh chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide may affect results. Alcohol, oils and ointments typically do not affect testing. In all cases, the DNA recovered from your tick will need to pass our standards for accuracy. If it does not pass, then you will be offered a refund for your order.
Recovering a tick from tape can be difficult and time consuming for our staff. Thus, we advise that ticks not be sent to us bound in tape. However, if your tick is already bound in tape, place the specimen (as is) in a zip lock bag as directed in our tick submission guidelines.