Testing practices and volume of non-Lyme tickborne diseases in the United States

Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2016 Feb;7(1):193-198. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2015.10.005. Epub 2015 Oct 30.


Large commercial laboratories in the United States were surveyed regarding the number of specimens tested for eight tickborne diseases in 2008. Seven large commercial laboratories reported testing a total of 2,927,881 specimens nationally (including Lyme disease). Of these, 495,585 specimens (17%) were tested for tickborne diseases other than Lyme disease. In addition to large commercial laboratories, another 1051 smaller commercial, hospital, and government laboratories in four states (CT, MD, MN, and NY) were surveyed regarding tickborne disease testing frequency, practices, and results. Ninety-two of these reported testing a total of 10,091 specimens for four tickborne diseases other than Lyme disease. We estimate the cost of laboratory diagnostic testing for non-Lyme disease tickborne diseases in 2008 to be $9.6 million. These data provide a baseline to evaluate trends in tickborne disease test utilization and insight into the burden of these diseases.

Keywords: Anaplasmosis; Babesiosis; Diagnostic testing; Laboratory; Tickborne disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques / economics*
  • Immunologic Techniques / methods*
  • Laboratories / economics
  • Laboratories / standards*
  • Microscopy / economics*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / epidemiology
  • United States