There are places where the public can have ticks tested to see if they contain the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, or to see if they contain other disease organisms which can infect humans or other animals. There are generally charges for these services.
LDA does not make recommendations about whether people should have ticks tested, reliability of tick testing, or whether people should wait for the results before seeking/getting treatment. Those are decisions that need to be made after reviewing material on the topic and discussing the benefits/risks with a professional.
Check with the labs for proper packaging and mailing of the ticks, the types of organisms tested for and the associated costs (e.g., Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis)
Examples of Tick Testing Laboratories*
LDA does provide contact information on some tick testing labs.
- IGeneX Labs, Palo Alto, CA: 800-832-3200 www.IGENEX.com See IGeneX Labs CLIA certificate http://www.personalconsult.com/CLIA.pdf
- MDL, Mt. Laurel, NJ: 877-269-0090 www.mdlab.com
- NJ Labs, New Brunswick, NJ: 732-249-0148 http://njlabs.com/index.cfm
- Clongen Laboratories, Gaithersburg, MD 301-916-0173 https://www.clongen.com/
*From Lyme Disease Association’s LymeR Primer brochure. Click here to download brochure.
Example of Government Testing Laboratories in Specific Areas
Residents who find an attached tick are asked to call the Georgia Poison Center (404-616-9000 or 800-222-1222) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for information about tick removal, identification, and testing. The Georgia Poison Center will provide information about how to mail the tick to get it tested when you call. The University of Georgia will test the tick for the bacteria that cause tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), and tularemia, depending on the species of tick. An expert in tick illness from the Georgia Division of Public Health will call you to ask you some questions about exposures to tick habitats and find out if you developed symptoms of tick-borne illness. You will get the results of the tick testing when it is done.
Check with your own state health department to see if it tests ticks