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Immunoblot is Best Test for Lyme, Bartonella, and Babesia—Here is Why

This video article on testing has two parts.

  • First, I review the differences between IGenex Immunoblot and Armin or Infectolab Americas Elispot testing for the big three tick-borne infections of Borrelia (Lyme), Babesia and Bartonella.
  • The last section of the video compares IGenex Immunoblot and Galaxy Labs PCR tests for Bartonella.

There is clarifying information below the video. Here you can find more information about the meaning of sensitivity and specificity. I also identify the different strains IGenex detects versus the more limited strains Armin or Infectolab Americas detects. Finally, I explain why I do not use Vibrant Labs or DNA Connexions testing.

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Terms and Definitions for Tests

To help understand when to use a test or the meaning of a result physicians consider the test sensitivity and specificity.

  • Sensitivity is the ability of a test to find an illness in all people with the illness.
  • Specificity is the ability of a test to correctly identify people without an illness from all people who do not have the illness.

IGenex Immunoblots are Best Because They are Most Sensitive and Specific

IGenex Immunoblot testing is more sensitive for Borrelia, Babesia, and Bartonella testing than Armin and Infectolab Elispot testing because it looks for reactions to more strains of each infection.

  • Borrelia. The test detects antibodies against eight strains including B. afzelii, B. garinii, and B. burgdorferi.
  • Bartonella. The test detects antibodies against the family of Bartonella which includes 15 types thought to infect humans. In addition, it detects specific antibodies against four specific strains named B. henselae, B. vinsonii, B. elizabethae, and B. quintana.
  • Babesia. The test detects antibodies against the family of Babesia which includes B. odecoilei. It also detects specific antibodies against two specific strains named B. microti, and B. duncani.

 Armin Elispot only detects T white blood cell reactions against

  • three strains of Borrelia (B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii);
  • one strain of Bartonella (B. henselae); and
  • one strain of Babesia (B. microti).

Infectolab Americas Elispot only detects T white blood cell reactions against

  • one strain of Borrelia (B. burgdorferi);
  • one strain of Bartonella (B. henselae); and
  • one strain of Babesia (B. microti).

In the video I explain why IGenex Immunoblot is more sensitive than Galaxy PCR for Bartonella.

A Word about Vibrant Labs and DNA Connexions

Both labs offer various types of tick-borne infection testing. I do not support using these labs due to the rate of false positives I see clinically. In addition, neither of these labs have performed adequate validation studies showing the accuracy of their testing methods.

More Information About the Various Methods to Test for Lyme

For more information about the various methods to test for Lyme (Borrelia) see A Review of Lyme Infection Tests: Pass or Fail.


The ideas and recommendations on this website and in this article are for informational purposes only. For more information about this, see the sitewide Terms & Conditions.

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About The Author

Marty Ross, MD is a passionate Lyme disease educator and clinical expert. He helps Lyme sufferers and their physicians see what really works based on his review of the science and extensive real-world experience. Dr. Ross is licensed to practice medicine in Washington State (License: MD00033296) where he has treated thousands of Lyme disease patients in his Seattle practice.

Marty Ross, MD is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and Georgetown University Family Medicine Residency. He is a member of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The Institute for Functional Medicine, and The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).

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