Lab Tests‎ > ‎

Reasons NOT To Test Ticks

Reasons To Not Test Ticks

1.  Costs can be $400-$600 per tick to check for a small sampling of diseases using tests that have not been proven to be accurate or reliable.  Human Lyme & tick borne disease tests on the market for decades have been proven to miss 75% of those who have Lyme disease. 

If flawed human tests that are destroying the health of a large population across the globe are allowed to stand as is, why would anyone expect tick testing would be accurate?

2.  The money it costs to test a tick is better spent on treating humans after they are bitten. For example, one lab that does not perform testing on humans (only ticks are tested & prevention products are promoted and sold) brought in over 1/4 of a million dollars in 3 years just from testing ticks for a limited number of tick borne diseases.  (It's a money thing.)

3. People mistakenly tend to wait for test results to come back before they decide to take action.  The time wasted (which could be over a month's wait even for labs that say a few days or 1-2 week turn around time) allows disease causing organisms to disseminate throughout the body.  The longer someone waits the more costly and difficult, if not impossible, it is to adequately treat or cure.

4.  Dangerous or deadly results can occur if there is a delay in treating- for example, spotted fevers, ehrilichiosis, anaplasmosis, etc. A few hours/days delay in treating does make a difference.  The best time to treat is immediately.

5.  Tests are not available for the majority of known tick borne disease causing organisms.

6.  Only a very small percentage of disease causing tests are offered by labs, yet there are over 300 known species/strains of Borrelia and hundreds of other tick and vector borne diseases. A recent (2016) study on deer ticks determined they harbored over 91 different pathogens. Please see the list of diseases documented in just one state (FL) and compare them to the list of tests offered by labs.

7.  Even if a tick tests positive for any given disease, there is no way to know if the tick has passed that disease on to humans at the time they were bitten.

8.  Negative tests provide a false sense of security after a tick bite. This has allowed people to become ill at a future date and the possibility of tick borne infections are either not remembered or considered due to the false negative tests.

9.  Positive tests results often prompt someone to seek unnecessary treatment even though the disease causing organisms are not always passed on through a bite. Additionally, there is a lot of stress involved seeing positive tests.  Stress can weaken the immune system at a time when the immune system is most needed.

10.  Each year more tick borne diseases are discovered, sometimes at an alarming rate. There are no commercial tests for them.  Diseases once thought to be only in one species of tick are also being detected in other species.

11.  Most doctors do not treat based on tick test results, citing the literature that states not all ticks carry diseases and if they do, not all ticks biting humans pass on the diseases.

12.  Doctors familiar with Lyme and tick borne diseases and who follow safe practices will treat those at high risk without tick (or human) test results.

13.  According to official medical guidelines used world wide (written by Dr. Joseph Burrascano, Jr.) the standard treatment for a tick bite is a course of antibiotics (doxycycline). Doxycycline is reported to be the most effective antibiotic (in the very early stages) for all but a few known tick borne diseases.

14.  Insurers do not recognize the results of tick testing for reimbursing the cost of diagnosis or treatment.

15.  Other considerations, such as the ability and skill of lab personnel (unknown), lab contamination (unknown), undetected organisms in ticks (unknown), lack of specific tests, etc. should be taken into account before ticks are sent to labs for testing.

Possible Reasons to Test Ticks

1.  Curiosity.

If testing is free and the results are being used by reliable researchers to determine where infected ticks are located. 

Updated June 2017
Lucy Barnes
shopify visitor statistics