B. burgdorferi IFA - G/M/A

Optimal Result: 0 - 40 titer.

The Lyme Immunoflourescence Assay (IFA) detects antibodies (IgG IgM, IgA) against B. burgdorferi in a patient's serum. Therefore, it is useful as a screening test at all stages of the disease. 

IgM-specific antibodies are usually high during the early (or active) stage of the disease; and in some patients IgM may persist for a long time. Antibody levels tends to rise above background levels within 2-3 weeks after an infection. IgG appears later in the disease, but may remain present in low levels long after the disease is cured.

Borrelia burgdorferi is a pathogenic spirochete responsible for Lyme disease via a tick vector. This spirochete causes a characteristic annular rash, arthritis, carditis, and in late stages, encephalopathy. 


Tatum R, Pearson-Shaver AL. Borrelia Burgdorferi. [Updated 2022 Jul 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532894/

What does it mean if your B. burgdorferi IFA - G/M/A result is too high?

A positive result for the B. burgdorferi IFA - G/M/A test indicates the presence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi in your blood. This bacterium is responsible for Lyme disease, which is transmitted through tick bites. The presence of these antibodies suggests a current or past infection with Lyme disease.

In the test, the detection of different types of antibodies (IgG, IgM, IgA) can provide information about the stage of the disease. IgM antibodies are generally higher during the early or active stage of Lyme disease. In some cases, IgM may persist for a longer period. IgG antibodies typically appear later in the disease course and can remain at low levels even after the disease has been treated and resolved.

However, it's important to note that false positives can occur. For instance, a positive result might be seen even in cured cases of Lyme disease, as antibodies can be detected months or years later. Additionally, false positives can occur with certain other conditions like lupus, HIV, or syphilis.

Given the complexity and variability in interpreting these test results, it's crucial to consider them in the context of clinical symptoms and possibly other diagnostic tests. It's always recommended to discuss the results with a healthcare provider for a comprehensive understanding and appropriate medical advice.

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