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Tick-borne relapsing fever Borrelia group, antibody detection to 4 recombinant protein groups, by immunoblot, IgG

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Tick-borne relapsing fever Borrelia group, antibody detection to 4 recombinant protein groups, by immunoblot, IgG


This procedure involves a blood test to detect antibodies against tick-borne relapsing fever caused by Borrelia bacteria. It uses an immunoblot technique to identify the presence of antibodies that react with four specific recombinant protein groups from the bacteria.


The procedure aims to diagnose tick-borne relapsing fever, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. The outcome of the test helps confirm if the patient's immune system has produced antibodies against Borrelia bacteria, indicating an infection.


  • Symptoms such as recurring fevers, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea.
  • History of tick bites or exposure to areas where tick-borne relapsing fever is common.
  • Patients who exhibit signs of this infection and need confirmation through a blood test.


  • No special preparation like fasting is usually required.
  • The patient may need to inform the provider of any medications or supplements they are taking.
  • A simple blood draw that might involve assessing the patient's vein accessibility beforehand.

Procedure Description

  1. A healthcare professional will clean the skin above a vein, usually in the arm.
  2. A blood sample is taken using a sterile needle and collected into a tube.
  3. The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is exposed to recombinant Borrelia proteins on an immunoblot.
  4. If antibodies are present, they will bind to the proteins and be detected through a series of reactions that produce a visible signal.


The blood collection takes about 5-10 minutes. Laboratory analysis can take several hours to days, depending on the facility.


The blood sample is collected in an outpatient clinic, lab, or hospital setting. The actual immunoblot test is performed in a specialized laboratory.


  • Medical laboratory technicians perform the immunoblot test.
  • Nurses or phlebotomists collect the blood sample.

Risks and Complications

  • Minor pain or bruising at the blood draw site.
  • Rare risks include infection or more significant bruising.
  • Laboratory risks are minimal but include potential for false positives or negatives.


  • Accurate diagnosis of tick-borne relapsing fever.
  • Helps guide appropriate treatment for the infection.
  • Results are typically available within a few days, providing timely information for medical decisions.


  • Minimal recovery; patients can usually resume normal activities immediately after the blood draw.
  • Follow-up may include discussing test results with the healthcare provider and starting treatment if the infection is confirmed.


  • Other serological tests or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for detecting Borrelia DNA.
  • Pros: PCR can detect the bacteria itself, potentially offering quicker results.
  • Cons: PCR requires more sophisticated equipment and may be less widely available.

Patient Experience

  • Mild discomfort or pain during the blood draw.
  • Possible minor soreness or bruising at the puncture site.
  • The procedure itself is quick, with no sedation or significant downtime required.

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