PHL performs tests for antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi using a two-tier test method as recommended by the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network.
Initially, a specimen is tested for total antibodies using a C6 peptide ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) method. A specimen that is either reactive or indeterminate by ELISA assay will be further tested for IgM and IgG specific antibodies using western blot assay.
Any C6 ELISA reactive or indeterminate specimen requesting European Lyme will be forwarded to National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) for western blot testing for antibodies to B.garinii and B. afzeli – the strains of Borrelia found in Europe.
NML offers PCR testing for B. burgdorferi on CSF and tissue with prior approval.