Lyme Disease Testing at TVMDL
Sandy Rodgers, MS, Section Head Serology, College Station
Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochete that causes Lyme Disease. The organism can be transmitted to dogs and humans by infected ticks. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) offers testing at the College Station laboratory for Lyme Disease by several methods. One method is by testing for the presence of antibodies. Testing using this method is done using the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFA). This method uses serum and tests using the dilutions of 1:64, 1:128, 1:256, 1:512, 1:1024, and 1:2048.
Currently, TVMDL offers three IFA tests used to detect the Lyme Disease.
Test: Borrelia burgdorferi Titer (Lyme Disease) (IFA)
Test: Tick screen I (IFA)
Test: Tick screen II (IFA)
Canines that have been vaccinated typically produce very high antibody responses that may persist for several years. The IFA does not differentiate between vaccination and natural exposure/infection. When a vaccinated animal is needing to be tested for Lyme Disease, samples can be referred by TVMDL to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University for the Canine Lyme Multiplex Assay. Their quantitative assay can distinguish between early and chronic stages of infection and vaccination and infection. Other methods offered at TVMDL include antigen (organism-based) detection: Borrelia species (qPCR) and TickPath LayerPlex (qPCR) which detects multiple tick-borne pathogens’ DNA: Rickettsiales species (Ehrlichia canis, E. chaffeensis, E. ewingii, Rickettsia rickettsii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum); Borrelia species (B. burgdorferi, B. hermsii, B. parkeri, B. turicatae); and Babesia species (B. gibsoni, B. canis, B. caballi).
Test: Borrelia species (qPCR)
Test: TickPath LayerPlex (qPCR)
To learn more about TVMDL’s serology tests, contact Sandy Rodgers, Serology Section Head. For more information about TVMDL’s test catalog, call 1.888.646.5623 or visit tvmdl.tamu.edu.