Lyme tests are inaccurate

Raphael Stricker, MD, talked with me last week about the pros and cons of the existing Lyme tests. As it turns out, there are mostly cons.

Dr. Stricker was the president of ILADS from 2005 to 2007, during which time the organization grew to nearly 400 members and accomplished a great deal of work on the behalf of Lyme patients, including the establishment of the guidelines for the treatment of Lyme.

The Western Blot and the ELISA tests are inaccurate. "They have 'coin toss sensitivity,'" Stricker says. "Which means if you flip a coin you get the same results as doing a commercial test.

"The current AIDS test has a 99.5% sensitivity, which means it misses one in two hundred AIDS cases. So, compare one out of every two Lyme cases that are missed? One in two hundred AIDS cases. I mean, that's a pretty big difference," he says. "What we need in Lyme disease is a test like the AIDS test, that is that sensitive, and that accurate."

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