Deciphering Igenex Results – stop the lyme lies

Deciphering Igenex Test Results


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Understanding your Igenex test results can be overwhelming. For those of us that have no access to a LLMD (Lyme Literate Doctor) it can be a nightmare. Nine times out of ten a normal doctor or GP have NO CLUE how to read them. I have created this ‘tutorial’ to better explain the bands, what they mean and how to read a basic Igenex Lyme test.

Sample Igenex TestBelow is a copy of my Igenex results. As you can see indicated by the red dots, I am positive on bands 41, 58, 83-93. Positives can range from 1+ to 4+. This gives you an idea of how serious or strong the bacteria is. On 58 I have only +, which would indicate that for that particular band I am low positive. On both 41 and 83-93 I have ++ which indicates I am exactly in the middle positive. According to Igenex I am positive, but according to CDC I am negative. Again, we all know the deal with the CDC! I also have 3 ‘IND’ marks on 23-25, 34 and 39. IND means indeterminate. This means maybe yes – maybe no. To me it is like taking a pregnancy test and being ‘sort of pregnant’ ! I would personally see an IND as a +.

Remember, these bands reflect the reaction of your immune system to Lyme.  Some people have stronger immune systems than others, some are weaker, and over time, the positive response tends to fade — the longer you have been infected, the weaker the response on this test overall. 

This is the IgM part of my results. Remember, an IgM positive test result means more recent & likely currently active infection.


​On my IgG Results I am negative – negative even though I have 2 positives on bands 41 and 58 and 2 IND’s on bands 31 and 39. Remember IgG means previous exposure to the bacteria or older infection of Lyme.
​I also ‘scored’ a 40 on my IgG, IgM, IgA (GMA) which is equivocal.

What do all of these bands mean??

How To Decipher Lyme Bands

The following is a breakdown of the Western blot only. As co-infections will show their own titers.

IgM is a sign of a current infection.

IgG can be a sign of a current infection if symptomatic, or of a past exposure to or past infection by the organism.There are nine known Borrelia burgdorferi genus specie specific KDA Western Blot antibodies (bands):

18 23 30 31 34 37 39 83 and 93.

Only one of these Borrelia burgdorferi genus specie specific bands is needed to confirm that there is serological evidence of exposure to the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete and can confirm a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease.Igenex Western Blot Break Down by band

  • 9 cross-reactive for Borrellia
  • 12 specific for Bb
  • 18 highly specific to Lyme (Many LLMD’s say if this band alone is positive, you have lyme )
  • 20 cross-reactive for Borrellia
  • 21 unknown
  • 22 specific for Bb, probably really the 23/25 band
  • 23-25 outer surface protein C (OspC), specific for Bb
  • 28 unknown
  • 30 unknown; probably an outer surface protein; common in European and one California strain – Has cross-reactivity with several different types of viruses
  • 31 outer surface protein A (OspA), specific for Bb – Has cross-reactivity with several different types of viruses
  • 34 outer surface protein B (Osp; specific for Bb
  • 35 specific for Bb
  • 37 specific for Bb
  • 38 cross-reactive for Bb
  • 39 is a major protein of Bb flagellin; specific for Bb
  • 41 flagellin protein of all spirochetes; this is usually the first to appear after a spirochete infection but is NOT specific to Lyme (i.e, other spirochete diseases have flagellas)
  • 45 cross-reactive for all Borellia
  • 50 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
  • 55 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
  • 57 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
  • 58 unknown but may be a heat-shock Bb protein
  • 60 cross reactive for all Borrellia
  • 66 cross-reactive for all Borrelia, common in all bacteria
  • 83 specific antigen for the Lyme bacterium, probably a cytoplasmic membrane
  • 93 unknown, probably the same protein in band 83, just migrates differently in some patients

An IgM positive test result means more recent & likely currently active infection.

IgG positive means previous exposure to the bacteria or older infection of Lyme.

If no symptoms are present with IgG positive, it may mean an “inactive” LD infection.

PLEASE BE AWARE MANY LLMD’S CONSIDER A BAND THAT IS ‘IND’ AS POSITIVE, IGENEX TEST READS ‘IND’s’ ARE SIGNIFICANT AND DOES NOT INDICATE A NEGATIVE.

Abbreviations:

Bb Borrelia burgdorferi
Bmp Bacterial membrane protein
Fla Flagellin
HGE Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis
kDa kilodalton = molecular weight
Oms Outer membrane-spanning 
Osp Outer surface proteins
p Protein
Positive (+ or +/-) IgG results on Bands 31 or 34 kDa may occur after vaccination in otherwise uninfected people.
IGeneX considers the IgM equivocal if only one of the @ bands are present.
Band Markings
When reporting bands, the reporting laboratory marks each band with the following indicators of intensity:
– Not present 
+ Low 
++ Medium 
+++ High 
+/- Equivocal = indeterminate (there, but not as intense as Low)

According to Dr. Jones: His site here

There are nine known [Lyme] Borrelia burgdorferi species specific Western Blot antibodies (bands): 18, 23, 31, 34, 37, 39, 83 and 93.
Only one of these Borrelia burgdorferi genus specific bands is needed to confirm that there is lab evidence of exposure to the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete and can confirm a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease.
CDC Criteria are Confusing in Real Clinical Settings
CDC Western Blot IgM surveillance criteria includes only two burgdorferi genus species specific antibodies for IgM 23 and 39 and excludes the other seven Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies.
CDC Western Blot IgG surveillance criteria include 18, 23, 30, 37, 39 and 93 and exclude bands 31, 34 and 83.
It does not make sense to exclude any Borrelia burgdorferi genus species-specific antibodies in a Lyme Western Blot, and to include only two of these antibodies in IgM because all the antibodies in IgG were once IgM.
The CDC wrongfully includes five non-specific cross-reacting antibodies in its Western Blot surveillance criteria: 28, 41, 45, 58 and 66. This leads to the possibility of false positive Lyme Western Blots. There can be no false positives if only Borrelia burgdorferi genus species-specific antibodies are considered. One can have a CDC surveillance positive IgG Lyme Western Blot with the five non-specific antibodies without having any Borrelia burgdorferi genus species specific antibodies.
This does not make sense.
The CDC recommends that the Lyme Western Blot be performed only if there is a positive or equivocal Lyme ELISA. In his practice of over 10, 000 children with Lyme disease, 30% with a CDC positive Lyme Western Blot had negative ELISA’s. The Lyme ELISA is a poor screening test. An adequate screening test should have false positives, not false negatives.