The Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec analyzes ticks voluntarily submitted by hospital medical microbiology laboratories and by veterinary hospitals and clinics, in order to understand their distribution within the territory of Québec. The results of this analysis are used for surveillance purposes and allow public health authorities to be informed about the risks of exposure to ticks responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease in Québec.
It is very important to note that this analysis cannot be used as a diagnostic aid tool for the following reasons:
- if the molecular analysis test comes back positive for the presence of B. burgdorferi, this does not mean that the patient bitten by the tick has been infected;
- since analysis turnaround time is very long, if your patient has been infected, he or she will probably develop symptoms before the analysis results arrive. You should not wait for the tick analysis results to start appropriate treatment;
- a negative result may produce a false sense of security. It is possible to be bitten by an infected tick whose presence has not been detected.
For more information on the procedure for submitting ticks to the LSPQ, see the page on the analysis of ticks (in french).
To learn more about diagnosing Lyme disease, see the page of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (in french).
If you are a health professional and would like to undergo training on patient diagnosis and management related to Lyme disease, you can register for free for the training module (available in French only): Le défi émergent de la maladie de Lyme.