Testing for Lyme Disease In Australia
Currently in Australia - Westmead hospital is still advising the "International Criteria" testing methods...
This section will be expanded very soon : but suffice to say - this criteria is not suitable for Australia ; Indeed even in America - it is "survelliance criteria" only ; and not meant for clinical diagnosis.
This point has been made on numerous occasions: one of these times was Testimony by Paul Mead, Medical Epidemiologist with the CDC, given to the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Attorney General's Office at a hearing regarding CDC's Lyme Disease Prevention and Control Activities in 2004 notes “A clinical diagnosis is made for the purpose of treating an individual patient and should consider the many details associated with that patient's illness. Surveillance case definitions are created for the purpose of standardization, not patient care”.
Due to species variations on the borrelia bacteria responsible for Lyme disease it has also been noted many times that this "surveillance criteria" is not appropriate for European countries. And yet here we are... Still using it??
Lyme disease testing is notoriously difficult at the best of times; and in Australia is made worse by the fact that acknowledgements of European species and criteria for these are overlooked by our health departments.
For further information on testing , please see information provided at the websites of :
Lyme Disease Association of Australia
Karl McManus Research Foundation