Vector-Borne Diseases: Diagnostic Testing and Clinical Interpretation

The Right Tests For the Detection and Diagnosis

Mayo Clinic’s internationally renowned clinical microbiology laboratories span all areas of conventional, molecular, and serological medical microbiology, offering a broad selection of tests designed for rapid identification and in-depth characterization of the pathogens associated with infectious diseases.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers a full menu of individual tests and panels that aid in the diagnosis of vector-borne diseases (VBD). In addition to our comprehensive testing menu, we developed multiple VBD testing algorithms to help guide and optimize diagnostic testing.

Diagnostic Testing for:

Tick-Borne Diseases

Lyme Disease
Babesiosis
Anaplasmosis
Ehrlichiosis
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
Borrelia miyamotoi Disease

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Malaria
West Nile Virus
Eastern Equine Virus
Western Equine Virus
California (La Crosse) Virus
St. Louis Encephalitis Virus
Chikungunya Virus
Zika Virus
Dengue Virus

Other Vector-Borne Diseases

Visceral Leishmaniasis
Parasite Identification (Arthropods)
Chagas Disease

Meet the Experts

Bobbi Pritt, M.D., left, and Elitza Theel, Ph.D., right, are clinical microbiology directors who specialize in vector-borne diseases at Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.

Tick-Borne Diseases

Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) occur worldwide, but historically, only certain pockets of the United States posed a risk for infection. However, the geographic range of ticks continues to expand in North America, leading to higher risks of TBD exposure for the public. As a result of increasing exposure and the rising number of potential tick-borne pathogens, it is increasingly important to recognize who to test, when to test, and what test to use for patients who present TBD symptoms

We offer a full menu of individual tests and panels that aid in the diagnosis of TBDs. In addition to our comprehensive testing menu, we have developed multiple TBD testing algorithms to help guide and optimize diagnostic testing.

Tick-Borne Testing Algorithms and Interpretations

Tick-Borne Disease Testing Algorithm

Lyme Disease
Lyme Central Nervous System Infection IgG with Antibody Index Reflex, Serum and Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: LNBAB)

Lyme Disease Serology, Serum (Mayo ID: LYME)

Lyme Disease Antibody, Immunoblot, Serum (Mayo ID: LYWB)
NOTE: Not recommended to perform without initial positive first-tiered equivocal Lyme enzyme immunoassay.

Lyme Disease European Antibody Screen, Serum (Mayo ID: ELYME)

Lyme Disease European Immunoblot, Serum (Mayo ID: ELYMI)

Lyme Disease, Molecular Detection, PCRR, Cerebrospinal Fluid, Synovial Fluid, or Tissue (Mayo ID: PBORR)

Lyme Disease, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: PRORB)
NOTE: Not recommended to perform with concurrent Lyme disease serology testing (Mayo ID: LYME)

Tick-Borne Disease Antibodies Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: TICKS)

Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: TKPNL)


Babesiosis
Babesia microti IgG Antibodies, Serum (Mayo ID: BABG)

Babesia Species, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: LBAB)

Tick-Borne Disease Antibodies Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: TICKS)

Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: TKPNL)


Anaplasmosis
Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis) Antibody, Serum (Mayo ID: ANAP)

Ehrlichia/Anaplasma, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: EHRL)

Tick-Borne Disease Antibodies Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: TICKS)

Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: TKPNL)


Ehrlichiosis
Ehrlichia Antibody Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: EHRCP)

Ehrlichia/Anaplasma Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: EHRL)

Ehrliche chaffeensis (HME) Antibody, IgG, Serum (Mayo ID: EHRC)

Tick-Borne Disease Antibodies Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: TICKS)

Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: TKPNL)


Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Spotted Fever Group Antibody, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: SFGP)

For Tick-Borne Pathogens Other Than Rickettsia Species
Tick-Borne Disease Antibodies Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: TICKS)

Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: TKPNL)


Borrelia miyamotoi Disease
Borrelia miyamotoi Detection PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: BMIYB)

Borrelia miyamotoi Detection PCR, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: BMIYC)

Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: TKPNL)

Tick-Borne Coinfections

Tick-borne pathogen confections are more widespread than commonly recognized by medical professionals and the public. Ticks can transmit multiple infectious agents through a single bite to the host. In studies reported in Clinical Microbiology reviews, coinfections appear with the greatest frequency among people with Lyme disease (LD). Approximately 4–5% of patients with LD are coinfected with either human anaplasmosis or babesiosis where LD is endemic.

Mayo Clinic, a recognized center of excellence for vector-borne diseases, offers combined expertise with consultancy, integration of serologic and molecular testing, and enhanced reports with interpretation support.

SEROLOGICAL TESTING

A tick-borne testing panel can assist in the detection of coinfections, even if they are not initially suspected by the provider. Such tests can evaluate patients who present with fever, myalgia, headache, nausea, and other symptoms and have a history or suspicion of tick exposure. Importantly, this testing is useful in patients presenting with more than seven days of symptoms.

Comprehensive Panel
Tick-Borne Disease Antibodies Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: TICKS)

Included Tests
Ehrlichia chaffeensis (HME) Antibody, IgG, Serum (Mayo ID: EHRC)

Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis) Antibody, Serum (Mayo ID: ANAP)

Babesia microti IgG Antibodies, Serum (Mayo ID: BABG)

Lyme Disease Serology, Serum (Mayo ID: LYME)

Reflex Test (If Indicated)
Lyme Disease Antibody, Immunoblot, Serum (Mayo ID: LYWB)

MOLECULAR TESTING

While two-tiered serological testing best identifies Lyme disease caused by B. burgdorferi, molecular amplification assays are the best detectors for acute ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and B. miyamotoi infections within the first 7 days following symptom onset. This tick-borne panel offers sensitive, specific, and rapid detection of agents that cause these four diseases. Consider ordering this panel when systemic symptoms, such as fever, chills, and sepsis, are present.

Comprehensive Panel
Tick-Borne Panel, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: TKPNL)

Included Tests
Babesia Species, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: LBAB)

Ehrlichia/Anaplasma, Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: EHRL)

Borrelia miyamotoi Detection, PCR, Blood (Mayo ID: BMIYB)


Additional Resources for Tick-Borne Diseases

Stay Safe This Summer: Know the ABCs of Ticks
World Distribution of Select Tick-Borne Diseases from Companion Vector-Borne Diseases
Demystifying the Tick with Bobbi Pritt, M.D., and "Mpls-St Paul" Magazine

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs) cause millions of deaths each year, earning mosquitoes the title of the world's deadliest animal.

We offer a comprehensive menu of individually orderable tests and panels for MBDs. Additionally, our algorithmic approaches to MBD testing help reduce costs and optimize patient care.

Mosquito-Borne Testing Algorithms and Interpretations

Mosquito-Borne Disease Laboratory Testing Algorithm

MalariaWest Nile Virus
Malaria, Molecular Detection, PCR Only (Mayo ID: LCMAL)

Malaria PCR with Parasitemia Reflex (Mayo ID: LMALP)

Rapid Malaria/Babesia Smear (Mayo ID: MAL)
West Nile Virus Antibody, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: WNS)

West Nile Virus Antibody, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: WNC)

West Nile Virus, Molecular Detection, PCR (Mayo ID: LCWNV)

West Nile Virus (WNV), Molecular Detection (Mayo ID: WNVP)
NOTE: PCR tests are recommended to be used in conjunction with serological tests.


Eastern Equine EncephalitisWestern Equine Encephalitis
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Antibody, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: EEEP)

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: EEPC)

Panels
Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: ARBOP)

Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: ABOPC)
Western Equine Encephalitis, Antibody IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: WEEP)

Western Equine Encephalitis Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: WEEPC)

Panels
Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: ARBOP)

Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: ABOPC)


California (La Crosse) EncephalitisSt. Louis Encephalitis
California Virus (La Crosse) IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: CAVP)

California Virus (La Crosse) Encephalitis Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: CAVPC)

Panels
Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: ARBOP)

Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: ABOPC)
St. Louis Encephalitis Antibody, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: STLP)

St. Louis Encephalitis Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: STLPC)

Panels
Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: ARBOP)

Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: ABOPC)


Zika VirusDengue Virus
Zika Virus IgG Antibody Capture MAC-ELISA, Serum (Mayo ID: MZIKV)

Zika Virus, PCR, Molecular Detection, Random, Urine (Mayo ID: RZIKU)

Zika Virus, Virus, PCR, Molecular Detection, Serum (Mayo ID: RZIKS)

Prenatal Zika Virus IgM Antibody Capture MAC-ELISA, Serum (Mayo ID: PNZIK)

Dengue Virus Antibody, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: DENGM)

Dengue Virus Antibody/Antigen Panel, Serum (Mayo ID: DENVP)

Dengue Virus NS1 Antigen, Serum (Mayo ID: DNSAG)

Panels
Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Serum (Mayo ID: ARBOP)

Arbovirus Antibody Panel, IgG and IgM, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: ABOPC)


Chikungya Virus
Chikungunya IgM and IgG, Antibody, Serum (Mayo ID: CHIKV)

Chikungunya Virus, PCR, Molecular Detection, Serum (Mayo ID: CHIKS)

Chikungunya Virus, PCR, Molecular Detection, Spinal Fluid (Mayo ID: CHIKC)

Additional Resources for Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Zika and Dengue Virus Panels [A Test in Focus]
Bobbi Pritt, M.D., Discusses an Update on Malaria Diagnostics and Test Utilization

World Distribution of Select Mosquito-Borne Diseases from World Health Organization

Insect-Borne Diseases

Our laboratories test for various diseases carried by insect species. The tsetse fly spreads sleeping sickness, which affects 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa and places 55 million people at risk. Sand flies spread the leishmaniasis group of diseases, which affects 88 countries and places 350 million people at risk. Household bugs spread Chagas disease and place 100 million people at risk in Latin America. Other insects spread filarial diseases, including lymphatic filariasis, loiasis, and onchocerciasis.

Insect-Borne Testing Interpretations

Visceral Leishmaniasis
Leishmaniasis (Visceral) Antibody, Serum (Mayo ID: LEIS)
NOTE: Test is NOT appropriate for diagnosing cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Parasite Identification (Arthropods)
Parasite Identification, Varies (Mayo ID: PARID)
NOTE: Tick identification can be used to guide prophylaxis for Lyme disease and predict the risk for other tick-borne diseases. The report includes tick genus, species, gender, life cycle stage, degree of engorgement, and presence—or absence—of mouthparts.

Trypanosoma Cruzi Infection (Chagas Disease)
Trypanosoma cruzi Antibody, IgG, Serum (Mayo ID: CHAG)
NOTE: Test is preferred for diagnosis of chronic Chagas disease.

Additional Resources for Insect-Borne Diseases

Bobbi Pritt, M.D., Advises How to Avoid Bug-Borne Diseases This Summer
World Distribution of Select Insect-Borne Diseases

Community Resources for Vector-Borne Diseases

Impacts Team Continues to Combat Life-Threatening Arthropod-Borne Infections in Belize
Division of Vector-Borne Diseases [CDC Department]
Mayo Clinic Consultants Co-Author Infectious Diseases Guide for Laboratories
Vector-Borne Diseases [Fact Sheet]

Creepy Dreadful Wonderful Parasites: A Parasitologist's View of the World [Blog]
Vector-Borne Diseases [Article]

Read more about vector-borne diseases on Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ Insights.

To speak with a clinical specialty representative and learn more about how our testing can integrate with your practice, call 855-516-8404 or 1-855-379-3115 (International).

Emily Linginfelter

Emily Linginfelter

Emily Linginfelter is a Marketing Associate at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Emily has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2018.