And then joy

False positive! I will be double checking this with the local lyme expert on Friday, but it was his *IGm* not IGg that was positive, which would indicate an infection in the last month or so. Since he couldn’t have gotten sick in the last month, it’s probably a false positive. Not only that, every single lab other than the IGm was normal, so he doesn’t seem to be sick at least according to his bloodwork. He doesn’t even have any allergies.

This still leaves open questions, like whether he’s got something else that’s making him tired and sick a lot. On the other hand, he’s 4 and in school, and likely to pick lots of things up. I wish it were easier to know when to worry and when not to.

**** UPDATE **** we have since confirmed that this was a *POSITIVE* test, despite what is said above. See “Diagnosing Lyme in my son” for more details.

4 thoughts on “And then joy

  1. I just stumbled upon this blog. While it’s been nearly a year since you wrote this and I hope your son is well, I wonder if all the bands done on the Western Blots. Some labs do not test all the bands.

    Also, to consider is that one lyme expert says: “But actually, more IgM blots are positive in chronic borreliosis than IgG.”

    Dr Crist’s Western Blot explanation is discussed here:;f=1;t=042077

    “With most infections, your immune system first forms IgM antibodies, then in about 2 to 4 weeks, you see IgG antibodies. In some infections, IgG antibodies may be detectable for years.

    Because Borrelia burgdorferi is a chronic persistent infection that may last for decades, you would think patients with chronic symptoms would have positive IgG Western blots.

    But actually, more IgM blots are positive in chronic borreliosis than IgG. Every time Borrelia burgdorferi reproduces itself, it may stimulate the immune system to form new IgM antibodies.

    Some patients have both IgG and IgM blots positive. But if either the IgG or IgM blot is positive, overall it is a positive result.

    Response to antibiotics is the same if either is positive, or both. Some antibodies against the borrelia are given more significance if they are IgG versus IgM, or vice versa.

    Since this is a chronic persistent infection, this does not make a lot of sense to me. A newly formed Borrelia burgdorferi should have the same antigen parts as the previous bacteria that produced it.

    But anyway, from my clinical experience, these borrelia associated bands usually predict a clinical change in symptoms with antibiotics, regardless of whether they are IgG or IgM.”


    more at:

    Charles Crist, MD (LLMD and a member of ILADS)

    testing for borreliosis

  2. Thanks for your comment. I think what was significant to me in my son’s case was that no bands except the 41k (which is for flagella) were positive. However, I did not get him tested by IGENEX, so it is possible some bands were missed. — ADDENDUM 11/24/2010: He did have other bands, I had forgotten :(. And in the end it turned out he had Lyme disease. The commenter was so right! —

    Even more importantly, a year later, I can report that his health problems have been resolved — by a device that has removed the moisture in my basement. In otherwords, it appears much more likely that the mold bloom in our house caused them, than that it was caused by a tick bite.

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