Does a Urine Test Diagnose Lyme Disease?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Is the urine test for Lyme disease of value?

Doctor's response

No. There is a commercially available "test" for Lyme disease that is marketed for detection of the bacteria. It was discussed at the 1999 national meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. It is felt to be useless and plays no role in the evaluation of anyone suspected of having Lyme disease. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on the recognition of characteristic clinical picture of illness and confirmed by specific blood testing. Usually initial blood screen is by the Elisa method of testing and further confirmation is by the Western Blot technique.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018