What if I had a tick bite, have symptoms and my Lyme test result is negative?

This test looks at antibodies produced after infection with Borrelia. Antibodies are made by the body after the immune system recognizes a foreign invader - it can take days to weeks after infection for antibodies to be high enough to cause a positive result. Therefore, some people may test negative after they have been infected if they test before their immune system has had time to respond. 

If you are concerned that you were exposed to Borrelia recently and have a negative test result, repeat testing can be done. If an infection has occurred, antibodies should be positive 6 weeks after exposure. If someone has negative antibodies farther than 6 weeks out from a known tick bite, it is unlikely that an infection with Borrelia has happened and any symptoms should be discussed with your healthcare provider.