Examination of ticks for pathogens laboratory enders

Ticks are a significant source of infection for humans. The bite of a tick can transmit a variety of diseases. In Central Europe this is mainly Lyme disease. In some areas also TBE (early summer meningoencephalitis). In addition, pathogens of spotted fever (rickettsia), Q fever (Coxiella burnetii), ehrlichiosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), babesia and bartonella can be transmitted. Of greatest importance, however, are the two first-mentioned diseases.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is caused by an infection with bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi). The infection can affect a variety of organs. Also cause chronic courses. Lyme disease can occur anywhere in Central Europe. Does not adhere to certain risk areas. The typical symptom of acute Lyme disease is migratory redness (erythema migrans), which appears after several days at the site of the bite. Furthermore, in the early stages, meninges can also be affected-. Nerve inflammations occur. If Lyme disease is recognized as such, it can be treated well with antibiotics in the early phase. The examination of the ticks can influence the further procedure in case of a positive result. Under certain circumstances, a preventive antibiotic therapy or further blood checks may be useful.

examination of ticks for pathogens laboratory enders

Migratory redness (c) Dr. F. Tewald

TBE (early summer meningoencephalitis)

TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) is a viral disease. In contrast to Borrelia, the infection rate of ticks is significantly lower, but transmission can occur very early after a bite. In contrast to Lyme disease, the disease occurs regionally. FSME risk areas are announced annually by the RKI (Robert Koch Institute). Often the infection goes completely unnoticed. If not, a flu-like illness occurs at first. With a small part it can come additionally to a meningitis, a brain inflammation or also a spinal cord inflammation. Permanent damage can occur. Rarely even deaths are described. Chronic courses are not known. The only effective measure to prevent infection is active immunization by vaccination (three times). In contrast to Lyme disease, tick testing for TBE is of lesser importance, as no therapeutic consequence results from a positively tested tick

Tick removal and examination (practical procedure)

The most important measure after a tick bite is the quick, professional removal of the tick . As a rule, the tick does not have to be removed by the doctor, but in the case of special localizations such as z.B. on the eyelid, however, it is advisable to consult a specialist. There are different methods for the removal of the tick. It is important that the tick is grasped at the biting apparatus ("at the head") if possible and is pulled out with an even pull. Squeezing the abdomen should be avoided at all costs. A clockwise or counterclockwise rotation is not necessary. If parts of the biting apparatus remain in the skin, this is usually not an indication for surgical removal. The risk of infection with regard to Borrelia should not increase thereby.

Options for removal

– Tick forceps can be used, but especially with plastic forceps it is often not possible to grip small ticks (nymphs) directly above the skin on the biting apparatus. – Pointed splinter tweezers have proven their worth. Here a precise grasping directly over the skin is possible. – With a string a loop can be formed around the biting apparatus directly over the skin. The tick can then be pulled out. – In addition, there are other commercially available removal aids. – In an emergency, when nothing else is available, the pointed fingernails can also be used to avoid a delay of several hours.

examination of ticks for pathogens laboratory enders

Packing and transport

The removed tick can be stuck on the request form with a tesa strip. Optimal is the means of transport cut corner of a freezer bag. Cut off the corner, insert the tick, tape the corner shut and fix it on the request form. The request snein can then be sent as a letter to the Enders laboratory.

Result and billing

The examination for Borrelia is carried out daily (Monday – Friday). As a rule, the result is available within 24-48 h. Testing for TBE requires 48 h.

The costs are currently Borrelia detection 25.- Euro and for the TBE detection 45.- Euro.

Request form for tick examination

– Checking ticks for Lyme disease and TBE

Why examine the tick at the Enders laboratory in particular?

We are a medical laboratory, which was founded more than 25 years ago by Mrs. Prof. Enders was founded with an infectious disease focus. The examination of ticks for Borrelia is a method which we have been practicing for more than 10 years. In this time we have already examined several thousand ticks. Our infection rates determined during these years are consistent with those of reputable institutions (z.B. State Health Office Stuttgart). We are in scientific exchange with other specialized institutions. We are a team with more than 20 years of experience in the diagnosis of Borrelia infections in humans. Therefore, in case of a positive result, we can also advise you competently on the further steps to be taken. For this we are also available by telephone from Monday to Saturday. Costs are incurred only at the time of examination and not in advance!

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