can you help me understand my western blot?

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happytoes
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/3/2010 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I just got a copy of my lab results from a little while ago, and am confused. According to the usual CDC definition, it's negative. I hope that's right!

But why did some of the bands come back 'reactive' anyway? The tests were performed at Quest. Am I infected with something else that needs attention or something?

So all bands were negative, with these exceptions:

18 KD (IGG) reactive

41 KD (IGG) reactive

23 KD (IGM) reactive


Can I conclude that it's not Lyme then? I tried searching here and other places online and got so confused. Seems that it might be a positive under Igenix's standards?

I'd really appreciate any tips.

Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4399
   Posted 9/3/2010 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Bands 18 and 23 are Lyme-specific bands, therefore your results are significant. If I were you, I would consult with a Lyme-Literate MD for proper diagnosis and treatment.
-Razzle
Chronic Lyme & Bartonella, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube; TPN via PICC (trying again to wean off the TPN).
Meds:  IV Cipro, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Singulair, Claritin, Domperidone, Colloidal Silver, probiotics, digestive enzymes, Milk Thistle & other liver support herbs, Magnesium, Progessence+ (wild yam + essential oils), Moducare, homeopathy.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 9/3/2010 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Happytoes!!
I don't remember welcoming you, but my memory is pretty bad, so - just in case--- Welcome to our forum!!!! I'm glad you found us!!

I, for one, didn't get a positive on my WB until I had been on abx for one full year, so hopefully you are being clinically evaluated by a Lyme Literate MD. They understand that there is good reason LD is so hard to diagnose sometimes.

I really can't explain about the bands 18 & 23 (my brain function has been severely affected by tick-borne infections-sorry) - but I do know that band 41 is very unique to Lyme, as it reacts to the spiral tail of the spirochete itself.

Hopefully someone will be along shortly to fill you in on the rest.

Please don't ignore this! I have chronic Lyme & have co-infections that went untreated & under-treated for many, many years, and anyone with chronic Lyme would tell you - don't risk it!
Even the mightiest oak tree was once a little nut who held it's ground!!!
May we all find peace along the journey to find healing.
"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP
Trav

happytoes
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/3/2010 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Razzle and Traveler!

My sister is very sick with chronic Lyme, so I didn't know if I was just being overly cautious or if there was real reason to be concerned...

As far as symptoms go, I would have never guessed Lyme - my doc just wanted to rule it out - that's why she tested. But I don't have many of the common symptoms like achy joints... but I have for many years had some significant fatigue/brain fog, and some other ailments that could really be from anything... Anyway, I hope it's not Lyme. I guess I should follow up and try to get in to see a Lyme literate doc...

So would a LLMD think it was Lyme just based on those results, or is there more testing or anything? just curious.

CajunGrl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 9/3/2010 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
This is is what each number(band) means. It says that "18" is unknown but doctors have discovered that band 18 is significant for Lyme, especially if you have others with it. You have 23 and 41.

Western Blot Bands description:

9 cross-reactive for Borrellia
12 specific for Bb
18 unknown
20 cross-reactive for Borrellia
21 unknown
22 specific for Bb, probably really the 23/25 band
23-25 outer surface protein C (OspC), specific for Bb
28 unknown
30 unknown; probably an outer surface protein; common in European and
one California strain
31 outer surface protein A (OspA), specific for Bb
34 outer surface protein B (OspB); specific for Bb
35 specific for Bb
37 specific for Bb
38 cross-reactive for Bb
39 is a major protein of Bb flagellin; specific for Bb
41 flagellin protein of all spirochetes; this is usually the first to appear after a Bb infection and is specific for all Borrellia
45 cross-reactive for all Borellia (sometimes people with Lyme who have
this band positive also have the co-infection Ehrlichiosis)
50 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
55 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
57 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
58 unknown but may be a heat-shock Bb protein
60 cross reactive for all Borrellia
66 cross-reactive for all Borrelia, common in all bacteria
83 specific antigen for the Lyme bacterium, probably a cytoplasmic membrane
93 unknown, probably the same protein in band 83, just migrates differently in some patients
Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Adrenal Fatigue, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Prescription Meds: Cymbalta, Tramadol, Hydrocortisone, Plaquenil
Supplements: Thyro-complex, CMK, Folic Acid, Fish Oil, Probiotics, GI Repair, Vitamin D 50,000IU and Joint Supplement


Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Donotfear
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 9/3/2010 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I only had 41 positive, but I have LYme. If you have reactive band, you probably have it. It is not diagnosed by a test. It is diagnosed by symptoms. You must get to a Lyme Literate doctor asap. The following link will take you to the doctor referral system. You'll need to create an acct....login...but it's worth it. That's how I found a doc.

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=598:about&catid=107:patient-support&Itemid=304
Donotfear. Isaiah 41:10
http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Hushed-Truth-of-Lyme-Disease-My-Story-Part-1

happytoes
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/3/2010 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Forgive my ignorance on this...

So it seems that several of those bands (including the ones I tested reactive to), are specific to Lyme. So really, if you get a reactive band, to, say, 23 - the Lyme specific outer protein, it seems like this would basically mean that you have Lyme...

I'm not understanding - how could the CDC only considers 5 random bands to constitute a positive test, when it sounds like only one of several of those bands... the ones that could only be caused by Lyme, should be a sure sign that a person has Lyme.

What am I missing??? Could you still get those Lyme specific bands and NOT really have it? How is that possible if the bands will only show up if it's an antibody formed from a protein ONLY found with Lyme? Or am I misunderstanding the phrase 'specific to Lyme'? Maybe other little buggers can produce the same proteins??

I will get started on the hunt for a LLMD - thanks for the link. Although I think I already know of a really good doc in my area from when I did this search to help my sister out...

Simela
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 552
   Posted 9/3/2010 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
a reactive band=your immune system is making antibodies against something... our immune system is very smart and it is not creating antibodies to fight diseases we don't have... WB is an inacurate test, with false -, as others here described. The fact that some of your bands are reactive is very significant... Do you have any indeterminate (IND) bands, as well?

Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4399
   Posted 9/3/2010 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
happytoes,

You didn't miss anything - the CDC has developed standards for the test for tracking purposes, not diagnostic purposes...but unfortunately most labs and doctors who don't know better use the CDC criteria for diagnosis...this is why we have to go to Lyme-Literate MD's for diagnosis and treatment, because they actually understand how to properly diagnose Lyme (and any coinfections that may have come along for the ride when we got Lyme).
-Razzle
Chronic Lyme & Bartonella, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube; TPN via PICC (trying again to wean off the TPN).
Meds:  IV Cipro, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Singulair, Claritin, Domperidone, Colloidal Silver, probiotics, digestive enzymes, Milk Thistle & other liver support herbs, Magnesium, Progessence+ (wild yam + essential oils), Moducare, homeopathy.

happytoes
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/4/2010 3:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Simela said...
a reactive band=your immune system is making antibodies against something... our immune system is very smart and it is not creating antibodies to fight diseases we don't have... WB is an inacurate test, with false -, as others here described. The fact that some of your bands are reactive is very significant... Do you have any indeterminate (IND) bands, as well?


No indeterminate bands - they were all listed as either 'reactive' or 'non-reactive'.

Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4399
   Posted 9/4/2010 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
That's because the regular labs do not report indeterminate bands.
-Razzle
Chronic Lyme & Bartonella, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube; TPN via PICC (trying again to wean off the TPN).
Meds:  IV Cipro, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Singulair, Claritin, Domperidone, Colloidal Silver, probiotics, digestive enzymes, Milk Thistle & other liver support herbs, Magnesium, Progessence+ (wild yam + essential oils), Moducare, homeopathy.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 9/4/2010 2:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I would like to heartily suggest you make an appt with the Lyme Doc your sister saw right away!!! He will be in a unique position since he is the one treating your sister.
Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we will never cease to be amused!!!! :)
May we all find peace along the journey to find healing.
"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP
Trav
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