DNA Technology

DNA testing uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to detect certain pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms present in blood, urine and tissue. PCR, whether in a single assay or multiple assay (multiplex PCR) has allowed single detection or simultaneous detection and differentiation of multiple species of organisms in which the level of sensitivity and specificity is still unmatched by any other laboratory procedures.

Pathogenic organisms tested :

  • Anaplasma
  • Babesia
  • Borrelia
  • Coxiella
  • Ehrlichia
  • Rickettsia
  • TBEV

For bookings or further information, call (02) 9283 0807.

Preparation :
No antibiotics or antimicrobial herbs (please check this with your prescribing practitioner) to be taken for 4 weeks prior to collection

Type of Collection :

The micro-organism requested for testing will determine the type of sample required. The most commonly tested sample is whole blood – taken by venipuncture using EDTA tubes. Borrelia testing may be performed on whole blood, (EDTA tube) Serum (SST or Clot tube) or Urine (two first pass urine collections in sterile container). The referring Medical Practitioner should indicate which specimen types are to be tested.

Specimen Transport Packs :
Laboratory Mailers that conform to IATA standards for the safe transport of Biological Specimens are available for intra and interstate patients. Please enquire about the cost as it is not refundable.

Payment of the test cost is made when ordering the Lab Mailer.
Please phone us on (02) 9283 0807 or contact us if you would like to order a Lab Mailer.

The handling of specimens must be as follows to preserve the integrity of the DNA or false negative results may occur.

  • Samples should not be frozen or should not touch the ice pack when in a Specimen Transport Pack.
  • Samples should be kept at 4 to 8℃ unless the sample is a wax-embedded sample, which may be kept at room temperature.

Samples should reach our laboratory preferably within 24 hours from collection or no later than 48 hours.

Infection Testing

Borrelia EuroLine Blot IgM and IgG :
The EuroLine Blot Test is used for the qualitative detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato specific IgM and IgG antibodies in human serum. Lyme-Borreliosis is a systemic disease caused by an infection of the spirochete B.burgdorferi. The transmission of the spirochete to human is through the bite of an infected tick. Lyme Borreliosis is a multisystem disease, which may involve the skin, joints and nervous system.

Serological diagnosis of Borrelia may be complicated by the following factors:

  • A negative serology does not exclude an infection of Borrelia – particularly in the early stages of infection.
  • The development of IgM antibodies may fail to appear.
  • IgM antibodies may persist for months following initiation of infection.
  • IgG antibodies may remain detectable for years after a clinical remission.
  • Cross-reactions to other micro-organisms such as Syphilis and the Herpes Viruses (especially EBV) have been observed.
  • False positive antibody responses may occur as a result of the presence of autoimmune-antibodies.

Borrelia EliSpot Interferon :

The EliSpot test (Enzyme – Linked Immunosorbent Spot) is a highly sensitive Immunoassay that allows the monitoring of secreted cytokine at single T-cell level. The EliSpot test is able to detect one specific cell out of 100,000 irrelevant cells. Borrelia EliSpot assay measures the cytokine production of T-cells when peripheral blood lymphocytes are incubated with antigen/mitogen solutions of Borrelia burgdorferi. During incubation, there is a secretion of cytokines, which can be measured.

This is a highly sensitive and reproducible test for the detection of an immune response to Borrelia. When the Borrelia infection is no longer active the T-cell immune response will cease, therefore the EliSpot test allows for the monitoring of treatment of Borrelia infection.

1 RKI 1999, Infectious Disease Guide, Lyme-Borreliose, Epidemiological Bulletin, Revised Edition.

2 Craft, J.E. et al “Antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi recognized during Lyme disease. Appearance of a new immunoglobulin M response and expansion of the immunoglobulin G late in the illness.” 1986. J. Clin. Invest. 78:934-39
3 ibid.

4 Goosens H.A.T. et al, Epstein-Barr Virus and Cytomegalovirus Infections cause false positive results in IgM two-test protocol for early Lyme-Borreliosis, 1999. Infection 27 No.3:231.