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:
• 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…
http://www.bayarealyme.org/lyme-disease-prevention/tick-testing/
• Another option is 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:
https://www.tickreport.com/
• The other alternative is to use Igenex laboratory which requires you to order tests for pathogens individually–costs $68 per pathogen tested. It’s a very good laboratory, but more expensive. Results come in 1-2 weeks. You can get to their form and instructions at …
http://www.igenex.com/testing/tick-testing/
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.