Band 41 IS the mystery band. My research on this has turned up conflicting, inconclusive and truthful info. (or so it seems) all at the same time.
Some is anectodal, some is from non lyme related study of bacteria + scientific Lyme study.
Here is a smattering of the results I found-- various sources:
A. Band 41 will be positve/abnormal ONLY when patient has either Relapsing Fever, Syphilis or Lyme.
B. Any bacterial infection-- even Gingivitis or yeast-- will give a band 41 positive/abnormal.
C. Healthy individuals who do not have Lyme or any other infection will test positive for 41 as many bacteria live in our bodies. Everyone tests positive for 41.
D. Anyone who has had Lyme in the past and was 'cured' with immediate treatment before symptoms started and has no evidence of an ongoing infection, will forever test pos/abnormal for band 41.
E. Band 41 indicates the protein for FLAGELLA-- the 'tail' that motorizes bacteria.
But apparently, only pathenogenic bacteria have flagella. If this statement is true....
....then something IS in the bloodstream if band 41 is abnormal.
Are there just 'tails' floating around? Or are the 'tails' attached to living, moving bacteria? ....and if so, which bacteria?
Supposedly, these are all the Flagella bacteria:
Anthrax, Lyme, Pneumonia, Brucellosis, Enteritis, Chlamydia, Candida, Botulism, C. Diff., Tetanus, Gangrene, Diptheria, E. Coli, Meningitis, H. Pylori, Legionaire's, Leptospirosis, Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Gonorrhea, Salmonilla, Rocky Mt. Spotted Fever, all Staphs, all Streps, Syphilis, Cholera, Bubonic Plague.
So, if a person does not have any of the above when they are tested specifically for Lyme, it makes sense (IMO) that Lyme is present-- in the blood-- in some form.
But I can't imagine that just flagella 'tails' are cruising around by themselves.
The mystery then remains (IMO) that if band 41 is abnormal, is the flagella indicative of an active Lyme infection? Yes, of course, when symptoms are present.
But when there are no symptoms, and band 41 is present (all other bacterial infections ruled out) I suppose it's just a matter of time until symptoms appear.....???
.......or, perhaps certain people's outstanding immmune systems indefinitely keep the bacteria from wreaking havoc. Or....a certain harmony between the body and the Lyme bacteria has been reached.
Again, just my opinion!
Bottom line: For doctors to dismiss an abnormal band 41 (the only band being positive on one's WB test) as NO LYME DISEASE, just seems grossly remiss to me.
This is what I faced with my first blood test-- NO LYME DISEASE because I only had band 41. The doctors I saw at the time, considered my sporadic, come and go, 'all over the place' symptoms as...........something else. The usual story.
I believe-- as many of us probably do-- that band 41, even by itself, is pretty important !!!