While it is a personal decision whether or not to get a tick tested, we recommend that ticks that have been attached to a person be submitted for testing. Testing the tick can be helpful to determine if any pathogens are present in the tick that may require treatment, such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis or Babesia, all of which are pathogens that Geneticks has detected in Ixodes scapularis, blacklegged ticks Canada wide. It can be incredibly helpful to know what pathogen was in the tick as not all tick borne pathogens are treated the same. For instance, Babesia species are not treated with antibiotics like the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is. Testing ticks can also provide peace of mind by helping you to determine which pathogens you may have been exposed to (if any).
While there is no determined length of time that a sample will remain viable for, we recommend submitting ticks for testing sooner rather than later, samples that have been stored for longer than six months will be checked to ensure that the DNA is still sufficient for accurate testing. If the sample is not viable, we will let you know offer a full refund for your testing fees. To increase the likelihood of your tick sample being viable we recommend storage in the freezer in an airtight plastic bag or container.
We at Geneticks are able to achieve high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of tick-borne pathogens in submitted ticks. Our technique, as applied to ticks, has a false positive rate of 0.17% and a false negative rate of 0.0063%. This means there is roughly one false negative result for every 10,000 ticks tested, and roughly one false positive for every 1,000 ticks tested. We have worked to make the tick submission process as easy as possible for our customers, you can use the link below to place your order online and then the tick can be mailed into one of our labs for testing through Canada post. The most cost-efficient way to mail a tick in for testing is to put the tick in a sealed Ziplock bag and then place the Ziplock bag in a regular mailing envelope. When doing so, please make sure to include your first and last name as well as your 4 digit order number. The tick can then be placed in the mail and sent to one of our labs for testing. We have a lab in Ontario as well as one on the East Coast in New Brunswick.