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To ascertain use of serologic tests for
Lyme disease (LD) in Maryland, all laboratories registered with the State Health Department were surveyed. Results show that from 1992 to 1995, 17 laboratories performed 100,000 serologic tests costing $7.1 million on Maryland residents; 90% of these tests were EIAs. The proportion of positive EIAs increased from 3.4% in 1992 to approximately 7.0% in 1994 and 1995, and the percentage of positive second tests (Western blot, WB) fell from 7.9% to 5.0%-5.5%. The large number of EIAs performed in comparison with the low incidence of LD in the state results in a low predictive value of a positive EIA test. Therefore, the WB is indicated to confirm equivocal and positive EIA tests when characteristic clinical findings of LD are not present. The 30,000 tests for LD performed annually on Maryland residents at a cost of over $2 million in direct medical costs must be added to the public health burden of LD in this state.