Tick-borne disease DNA/RNA testing

  Attention! Changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic!

SIA GenEra changes the usual visiting procedure!

The laboratory accepts clients and patients in person strictly by prior appointment. To apply for a visit, write us info@genera.lv or call us  26267833!

We recommend remote DNA testing, by ordering an off-site sampling kit in our online store. Go to the selected DNA test section and add it to the cart. Complete the purchase and we will send you a full sampling kit. Please note that the additional time required for sending the samples must be added to the total testing time.

Protect yourself and your loved ones! 

Detection of 4 pathogens in one DNA test!
The tick can be tested for:

  • Tick-borne encephalitis

  • Lyme disease

  • Ehrlichiosis

  • Granulocytic anaplasmosis

Since spring 2019, GenEra offers a new test: the examination of removed ticks for pathogenic microorganisms.

You can bring an already removed tick (the laboratory cannot provide a tick removal service) and let us test it for four pathogens at the same time: tick-borne encephalitis virus, Borrelia, anaplasma, and ehrlichia. The testing of ticks against Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis agents is particularly relevant, as there is no vaccination against these diseases.

More information about these diseases can be found here.

Our laboratory offers a high-sensitivity molecular biological test, which can simultaneously detect the presence of DNA/RNA from 4 different tick-borne pathogens in one tick. 

The average testing time is 5 working days.

The result—positive or negative—will be presented for each pathogen:

  • TBEV — tick-borne encephalitis virus

  • Borrelia burgdorferi — Lyme disease or borreliosis agent

  • Ehrlichia chaffeensis — ehrlichiosis agent

  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum — granulocytic anaplasmosis agent

About ticks

In recent years, with changes in typical winter weather, the tick season begins earlier and lasts much longer, as frost occurs later and is less severe. Due to mild winters and insufficient frost, the number of ticks increases every year. Ticks can be found wherever there is grass, shrubs, tree leaves, within cities and without.

Ticks have three different stages of development —  the larva, the nymph, and the adult tick (female and male). They need blood at all stages of development. Feeding usually lasts a few days, less often for about a week. Larvae and nymphs need feeding to move on to the next stage of development, while females feed to produce eggs. Male ticks are unable to consume blood, so they bite only for a short time.

People often become anxious after a tick bite, as these insects transmit several infectious diseases. The best-known diseases are tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease. According to the Disease Control and Prevention Centre (SPKC), in 2018, 169 and 481 cases were registered in Latvia, respectively. In our region, ticks also carry such microorganisms as ehrlichiae and anaplasmae, which can cause diseases not only in livestock and dogs but also in humans.

According to the SPKC data, 25% of the ticks collected in the wild are infected with Borrelia, and 1% with the TBE virus. However, these numbers are growing every year. A disease after an infected tick bite occurs in about 5–7% of cases. A bite from an infected tick may not cause the disease, however. Therefore, a positive or negative test result indicates only the risk of disease and does not change the potential prevention and treatment tactics.

Regardless of the result of the tick test, it is recommended that for one month after the tick bite, you take more vitamins in the form of fruits and vegetables, drink more fluids, avoid colds, excessive sun exposure, alcohol consumption, and intense physical exercise. You should definitely monitor your health more closely or consult your family doctor if in doubt. Be sure to present the result of the tick testing to the doctor.

  Attention! Important to know!

Please be aware that several tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, can affect not only humans but also animals: our pets!

So for testing we also accept ticks taken from animals! 

If the test is positive, please contact your veterinarian for further information.

What should I do?

To deliver a tick for testing, it must be removed as soon as possible and as intact as possible, and brought to our laboratory:

1. The tick should be placed on a damp cloth or cotton ball in a small, clean container with a stopper or screw cap (a zip-lock bag can also be used).

2. Before delivery to the laboratory, the tick should be stored in a fridge, at 2–8 degrees Celsius (preferable for no more than 72 hours).

3. Bring the tick to SIA GenEra along with the testing application form. You may also deliver the tick remotely by mail or courier. By contacting the laboratory in advance, we also accept ticks sent through a parcel terminal. The test application form can be downloaded here.

If the tick is delivered by post or courier, the laboratory does not take any liability if the tick is no longer alive upon receipt. Let us remind you to send the tick as soon as possible.

The laboratory recommends testing whole, live ticks! Prolonged storage (longer than 72 hours) or the tick being dead  increases the risk of false-negative results of the testing.

The interpretation of testing results is described  here.

Ticks can be removed both in medical facilities and at home

Proper removal of the tick is very important.

  • Before removing the tick, the bite site must be disinfected with alcohol or vodka. Never use butter or oil, as these substances cause the tick to suffocate and vomit, thus contributing to the spread of pathogens in the wound;

  • Remove the tick using special pointed tweezers that can be purchased in pharmacies, and used to grab onto the insect as close to the skin as possible; try not to compress it, and slowly, with a smooth, circular motion, “unscrew” the tick. A loop made out of a thread can also be used. It is wrapped around the nose of the tick as close to the skin as possible, and the tick must be removed by pulling on the ends. If the only option to remove the tick is with your fingers, then a piece of cloth or napkin should be used for padding.

  • After removing the tick, it is mandatory to clean the area with alcohol or iodine tincture. Then always wash your hands thoroughly with soap, as infectious agents can enter the body through microscopic injuries in the skin and mucous membranes.​​​​

If you have any questions or concerns about this DNA test, please contact SIA GenEra via e-mail info@genera.lv or by calling  26267833

  Attention!

SIA GenEra does not offer a tick removal service!

Useful information

  • Referrals, forms, and testing requests accepted at the GenEra laboratory

  • Other useful information for doctors, judges, clients, and patients

LEARN MORE

Do you have questions about testing opportunities?

  Ask us!

We usually reply within 24 hours