Tick testing options

If you find a tick, or remove a tick from a person or pet and want to get it tested to see what pathogens it might be carrying, there are a few options. First step is to put the tick, dead or alive, in a sealed baggie with a moist cotton ball or moist piece of paper towel. Then, consider sending it to one of the following testing laboratories:

• (The following service may not be available due to funding) There is a free tick testing service being offered as part of a nation-wide study. It operates on grant money and at times the money is used up, so it may or may not be available for free. It tests for 5 pathogens including Lyme. It provides instructions for sending the tick in and allows you to print the form to send with it. It can take a few weeks to get results back. Here is the link for tick testing…

• TickReport. $50.00 for testing 6 pathogens including Lyme (Borrelia) and the testing varies slightly depending on tick species you send. There are also more detailed tests for more $ that can be run if desired. Results come in a few days. You can start the process online at:

•TickCheck. $50.00 for Lyme Disease pathogen, but also offers other tests and can detect the presence of 18 pathogens that cause diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesia, bartonella, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, B. miyamotoi, mycoplasmosis, southern tick-associated rash illness, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  https://www.tickcheck.com/

• Igenex laboratory. $68 per pathogen tested. You can get to their form and instructions at …

Note: These tests do not require a doctor authorization to perform. Also, be aware that if a tick tests positive for a specific pathogen, it does not guarantee that it transmitted that pathogen to the host it was attached to. Patient testing and evaluation following a tick bite is still the most reliable way to determine infection.