Lyme Disease Testing

IGeneX Lab: Sensitive Lyme and Co-infections Testing

Did you test negative on the standard Lyme test as well as the more sensitive C6 but still think you may have Lyme? Enter IGeneX Lab in California, which specializes in tick-borne disease testing.

My Lyme specialist, Dr. Hope McIntyre, ran most of my labs, and my daughter Michaela’s, through LabCorp. After all, they’re close, convenient, and covered by our insurance. Thankfully, we both tested positive for Lyme disease through that standard lab.

For all the co-infections Dr. McIntyre ordered through LabCorp, though, we tested negative. Because Michaela spiked high fevers when she got Lyme, Dr. McIntyre suspected she might have Babesiosis.

Dr. McIntyre thought I might have Babesiosis as well and—even more likely—Bartonellosis. She ordered tests for both of us through IGeneX.

IGeneX Lab Pros

For several reasons, IGeneX has become the lab of choice in the Lyme community.

First, the standard two-tiered Lyme disease test yields many false-negatives. The tests for the co-infections? Even worse.

Why the Tests for Lyme Disease Flunk

IGeneX, on the other hand, confirms Lyme disease and co-infections in patients often missed by standard tests.

In fact, IGeneX Lab’s ImmunoBlot test catches 35.4 percent more people with Lyme than the standard one.

As they say, “The ImmunoBlot test for Lyme disease has a sensitivity greater than 93%, whereas the ELISA and Western Blot two-tier testing protocol recommended by the CDC has a sensitivity of only 57.6%.”

Based on her experience, Dr. McIntyre affirms that patients who have symptoms of a tick-borne disease tend to test positive for that disease through IGeneX.

Second, IGeneX tests for “more species than any other lab.”

Third, “Most labs use Lyme disease testing criteria that were developed in 1994, when much less was known about the disease and its pathogens.”

IGeneX developed their “in-house testing criteria for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases based on decades of evidence and validation studies.” They arm their “scientists with the most cutting edge technology available….”

But, as with almost anything, using IGeneX Lab also comes with cons.

Cons

First, the primary con for most people is the price. Many insurance companies don’t cover the tests there, so you have to pay out-of-pocket. Depending on how many tests you get done, it could easily cost hundreds of dollars up to a thousand or even more.

Second, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved IGeneX Lab. Plus, they use different test results criteria than the CDC. Among other things, IGeneX requires less bands on the western blot for a patient to test positive. Because of this, the CDC doesn’t consider their test results legitimate.

Igenex Lab and the Western Blot band controversies

Third, IGeneX takes longer and is more of a hassle to get done. Still, for patients desperate to be diagnosed and treated, this last reason is a small price to pay.

But what if you want to know how long you’ve had Lyme? Is there a test for that? Read my next blog here!

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