Update on new Borrelia culture lab test
The newly released blood culture test for Lyme is now available in all states except New York and Florida. We are posting this press release from Advanced Laboratory Services to answer many of the questions being asked in the Lyme community about this test.
Press release from Advanced Laboratory Services:
BORRELIA CULTURE UPDATE- November 4th, 2011
Latest News From Advanced Laboratory Services
Regarding Our Revolutionary New Test
BORRELIA BLOOD CULTURE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR CLINICIANS!
Advanced Laboratory Services is pleased to announce that the Borrelia Blood Culture is now available for clinical use in 48 states so far. We have already been accepting samples and reporting results!
• It is NOT yet available in the states of Florida and New York- currently applications for these states have been filed and are pending.
• Unfortunately, international samples (including from Canada and Mexico) cannot yet be accepted until logistical issues are addressed and solved, but we are working on this.
WHY DO A CULTURE?
A culture is a direct test. It will tell you whether the infection is present, and is more accurate than a serology (ELISA and Western Blot), which is not a direct test and at best can only indicate prior exposure. For example, in diagnosing a urinary tract infection, do you test the blood for antibodies to E. coli, or do you culture the urine? The obvious answer also applies to diagnosing infection due to Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). Cultures are more useful and give more information.
WHO MAY ORDER THIS TEST?
Based on the laws of Pennsylvania where we are located, it must be ordered by a medical practitioner defined by them as an MD, DO, CRNP, PA-C, and Certified Nurse Midwife. If you are an ND, and even if you may order tests in the state in which you practice, you still will need to have the test ordered by the type of practitioner on Pennsylvania’s approved list. Note that it also cannot be ordered directly by the patient.
The practitioner must request a blood drawing kit from Advanced Labs, and once the specimen is drawn, it must be received by us within 24 hours. Please refer to the collection guidelines, below.
NEW COLLECTION KITS ARE READY!
As the colder weather will soon be affecting much of the country, we have modified our collection kits to include an insulated return mailer to prevent the blood from freezing. If you do not have these kits (they have a molded rigid foam insert in the return box), you should call us to have them sent to you.
WHAT ABOUT CLINICAL RESEARCH?
It is the position of the lab that our function is to provide these incredibly useful tests, and to refine them continually over time. We are aware that the availability of this testing method opens up new avenues of clinical research that may help answer the many remaining questions that clinicians and patients face every day. If a well designed and powered study were to be set up, then the lab would be most cooperative in assisting as it is able.
ADVANCED LABS TO PUBLISH A NEWSLETTER!
With the news coming from our lab so quickly, and with the many questions from you that we receive, it has been decided to publish a newsletter on a regular basis. It will be sent to all who are on our mailing list. So, to stay abreast of the latest happenings, be sure to sign up and also include your contact info with all your correspondence.
BLOOD COLLECTION GUIDELINES
Preliminary studies have resulted in the following sample collection guidelines, in order to ensure the highest culture yield:
• Patients should be antibiotic-free for at least 4 weeks prior to collection.
• Have symptoms and/or signs of active disease at the time of blood draw
• Blood must reach the lab within 24 hours of being drawn!!! Be sure to send the specimen out the same day it is collected, and use the FedEx overnight mailers we provide in the kits.
• Do not send any samples on Friday or Saturday as the lab is not open on weekends!
• It is suggested that the blood draw be scheduled for the afternoons if possible because that is when spirochetemia is more likely. However, be sure that FedEx will do an afternoon pickup for you.
As always, we appreciate your feedback and ideas. It is this type collaborative effort that will ensure that we continue to develop and deliver what is needed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thank you!
Advanced Laboratory Services
501 Elmwood Avenue, Sharon Hill, PA 19079
Phone: (855) 238-4949 Fax: (855) 238-4946