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Ticks are carriers of various bacterial and viral pathogens. Therefore, a tick bite can cause different diseases.zeckenbiss1 In our latitude, Lyme disease is common. The Lyme disease pathogen is bacterium borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. In up to 10 % of cases, a characteristic skin reddening (erythema) appears after infection with the bacterium.

Even a long time after infection, borrelia can cause late effects such as joint problems and damages in the central nervous system.

Diagnostics from a blood sample should be carried out in any case, in agreement with the treating doctor, in a medicinal specialist laboratory.

Request for laboratory diagnostics

You can sent the sample material informally (request form) and will then receive the laboratory result of the molecular biological test within a few days.

Our laboratory doctors have many years of experience in borrelia diagnostics and yearly carry out several thousand tests for doctors in the whole of the Federal republic of Germany.

If necessary, your general practitioner can get further information about an extension of the laboratory tests or treatment options there.

We also have the possibility of doing direct borrelia demonstration in ticks. This has been available for years and is also carried out in our laboratory Labcon OWL.

Testing of ticks for borrelia as the basis for establishing the infection risk in humans and the consequent therapy decision has to be regarded critical, as not every bite of an infected tick leads to a transmission. Pathogen transmission from tick to human happens earliest 10 – 12 hours after the bite, as borrelia from the tick only transform into an infectious form by contact with blood. Testing of the tick however, can be used as guidance, if there is skin reddening or problems occur.

It gives additional information but does not replace medical advice and thorough monitoring in the weeks following the tick bite. In the event of problems, usually a focused and appropriate therapy is possible without problems.

Not all borrelia found in ticks are pathogenic for humans. In addition to this, there are multiple sub types, which may cause local infection in the skin but not a generalized infection of the whole body. In many cases, there is pathogen destruction by the body’s own defenses even without therapy.

Due to the, on the whole minor infectious risk, a precautionary antibiotic therapy is generally not recommended, especially as this is not without the risk if side effects and in turn can lead to undesired resistance developments.

Immediate analysis of the tick itself

As far as you would like a testing of the tick itself, the appropriate request form can be found here