FAQs

The following are our frequently asked questions. We hope that they provide you with valuable information.

General Lab Questions

What tests should I order?

We are not able to suggest to anyone what testing should be ordered. You should consult your physician who is trained to take into consideration your symptoms and other factors to determine the best testing in order to provide the best diagnostic information.

What types of pathogens are detected in your laboratory tests?

Fry Laboratories, L.L.C. specializes in testing for and the identification of blood-borne pathogens including (but not limited to) Borrelia species., Bartonella species., Ehrlichia species., Anaplasma species., Rickettsia species., Babesia species., Toxoplasma species., Malaria, Trypanosoma species, infectious protozoa, biofilm forming pathogens, and new emerging diseases. We additionally offer DNA sequencing testing to detect all known bacterial and/or protozoal pathogens.

Is the information about various diseases I find on the internet accurate?

The best place to find information regarding tick and vector-borne diseases is through your healthcare providers. Unfortunately, the internet is full of incomplete, inaccurate, or biased information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and testing; therefore, be wary of information from online sources. There are also websites with information regarding our ongoing research projects. Please note that Fry Laboratories does not support, verify, condone, endorse, or approve of any other website claiming to disseminate information regarding ALS, MS, Fibromyalgia, CFS, chronic illness, or our research. Fry Laboratories does not maintain any professional relationships with any other websites. Please visit your healthcare provider for appropriate medical care and advice.

Specific Test Questions

What are hemobartonella or epierythrozoans?

Many of our tests are direct microscopic examinations of blood smears. The term hemobartonella and, often used interchangeably, epierythrozoan is a physical description of the behavior of the organism(s) observed. Except in a few cases it is generally not possible to determine the species of bacteria observed by microscopy. Upon microscopic examination bacteria generally appear as spherical, rod, or slightly irregular shaped cells that may be differentiated from ‘artifact’ by the use of selective stains. Organisms that adhere to the surfaces of cells have the physical characteristics consistent with epierythrozoan, or red blood cell adhering, bacteria. It is now known that Bartonella species. are not the only organism to display this characteristic and the out-dated term “hemobartonella” had been previously used as well. In summary, as new species of blood-borne bacteria have been discovered it is apparent that organisms identified by microscopy that are found inside or adherent to red blood cells are not necessarily Bartonella species. and as such the general terms ‘hemobartonella’ and ‘epierythrozoan’ are used to describe the features of the organism that is observed. Fry Laboratories offers targeted molecular and serologic testing to determine if the detected organisms are of the Bartonella genus or are another related species.

What is the difference between IgG and IgM?

IgG and IgM are two types of antibodies that are found in the blood. Antibodies are part of the bodies immune system that is used to identify, neutralize, and destroy foreign objects and organisms, such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses. At a basic level, IgM antibodies usually are associated with the early onset phase of an infection (acute), while IgG is generally associated with long-term immunity or reactivity towards a pathogen (chronic). This is a generalization and in some cases does not hold true.

How does your laboratory determine the presence of Bartonella spp.?

Fry Laboratories has developed and use several tests to assist in the detection of Bartonella species. and related organisms. A common method is by the utilization of immunofluorescent microscopy involving IgG and IgM antibodies. This test is a qualitative measure of the hosts immune reaction to the pathogen. The second method is direct microscopic visualization by special stains on a thin blood smear. Fry Laboratories has heavily invested in producing high quality proprietary staining technologies that aid in detection of rare or difficult to detect organisms such as Bartonella species. Typically, if an infection by Bartonella species. is present they may be found adherent to the outside of red blood cells, but in some cases may be inside of the cells as well. Lastly, molecular diagnostics may aid in the detection of Bartonella species. by detecting the presence of the organism’s DNA in a patient sample.

Can you see Borrelia burgdorferi (the organism that causes Lyme Disease) or other spirochetes on the stained smear?

The spirochetes that cause Lyme Disease can be seen on a stained smear and have been observed by our laboratory. Generally, it is considered difficult to detect Borrelia species. by microscopy. The absence of spirochetes by microscopic examination does not necessarily mean the patient does not have Lyme Disease. Therefore, in addition to the stained smear Fry Laboratories offers a Western Blot and molecular tests designed to detect an infection by Borrelia burgdorferi.

What can you detect on the stained smear test?

We can detect abnormalities with red cells and white cells, as well as organisms, or biofilm-like structures that are visible within the portion of the sample we are observing.

Do I need to freeze my blood before sending it?

No. Do not freeze the blood sample. Freezing whole blood destroys the cells and testing cannot be performed. Only the small ice pack provided with the kit should be frozen and be placed with the sample in the styrofoam box.

What are Advanced Stains?

The Advanced Stain test is based on fluorescent DNA staining technology. The Advanced Stain test uses two testing strategies. First, a fluorescent DNA stain is used to visualize DNA positive structures in a sample. Second, a centrifugation technique is used to enrich samples for organisms that may then be visualized using traditional staining techniques.

What does the Pan-Bacterial DNA analysis test for and how does it work?

Our Pan-Bacterial DNA analysis test uses Next Generation DNA Sequencing technology. We isolate DNA from the patient sample (blood, tissue, urine etc.) and using an amplification technique known as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), that amplifies DNA specific to bacteria. The amplified DNA is then sequenced and compared to all bacteria and archaea published in Genbank (16SMicrobial and NT databases). For more detailed information, click here for our sequencing information page.

What does the Pan-Eukaryotic DNA analysis test for and how does it work?

Our Pan-Eukaryotic DNA analysis test uses Next Generation DNA Sequencing technology. We isolate DNA from the patient sample (blood, tissue, urine etc.) and using an amplification technique known as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), that amplifies DNA specific to protozoa and fungi. The amplified DNA is then sequenced and compared to all fungi and protozoa published in Genbank (NT database). For more detailed information, click here for our sequencing information page.

If I am currently taking antibiotics, do I need to discontinue my use?

Many of our tests have indicated warnings about potential interference of results due to medications. Generally, antibiotics are recommended to be discontinued 2 weeks prior to the blood sample draw to allow for the most reliable results. However, as with all treatments please consult your physician or health care professional regarding this as it is a medical decision.

How does your test X compare to the other lab’s test Y?

There are subtle and sometimes significant differences between similar tests from different testing laboratories. Fry Laboratories does not comment on the performance characteristics of other laboratories’ tests. Please check with your healthcare provider when selecting tests as they are best equipped to survey the available test suites and select the most appropriate test for your case, sample type, and suspected organism(s).

Questions Regarding Patient Results

How do I get my results?

We email or mail the results to your ordering physician within 10 buisness days from when the sample is received. A faxed copy of the results may be faxed to the ordering physician’s office only at the request of the patient or the ordering physician. The physician is expected to contact and follow up with the patient once results have been received.

What do my results mean?

The results should be discussed with your ordering physician or health care professional. Fry Laboratories is not permitted to discuss, interpret, or release patient results with anyone other than the ordering physician.

How soon can I receive my results after it is sent to Fry Laboratories?

Our processing time for testing is expected to be 10-15 business days or less for most tests. Extended times may occur if DNA Analysis testing is ordered. While results may be available earlier than this time, please allow a few extra days if the results are reported by mail. Physicians who use the email reporting system are sent results the day they are released.

Can my results be emailed, mailed, or faxed to me?

Unfortunately, laboratory regulations do not allow us to email, mail, or fax results to anyone other than the ordering physician or health care professional. Copies of these results may be obtained from the ordering physician directly.

Insurance Questions

Do you accept insurance?

At this time, Fry Laboratories only accepts insurance for our DNA Analysis tests. We are considered an out of network laboratory. For all other testing, our patients pay for the testing at the time of service out of pocket. We then provide a paid invoice within several weeks of processing payment. Included with the receipt we provide tips and suggestions for submitting a claim to the insurance company. To submit claims, patients need to retrieve a claim form from their insurance company, complete the form, and submit it for evaluation along with their paid invoice.

Do I get insurance claim forms from you?

No. You will need to get all insurance forms and claim instructions directly from your insurance company.

Medicare Patients

Fry Laboratories is contracted with Medicare. The Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) Forms as well as instructions for the ABN are located on the “Forms – Other Documents” section of the website. Please read the instructions as it has valuable information regarding our billing process for Medicare patients. In some instances if Medicare does not reimburse the full amount for testing then the patient will be responsible for the remaining balance. When mailing in your specimen, please include a signed copy of your ABN form, front and back copies of your Medicare ID card, your requisition (test order form) with a credit card included in the “payment” section. For additional questions please call our billing office at 480.292.8457.

Billing Questions

Can I get a receipt for my bloodwork?

We mail out paid invoices within several weeks of processing payment. We understand that paying for our testing services at the time of service is an inconvenience. We do our best to process payments and mail reciepts promptly to assist in a claim submission for reimbursement. To improve efficiency and reduce overhead costs our reciepts are mailed in batches. If there is a special circumstance in which a receipt is immediately required, please call our Billing Office at 480.292.8457.

Order Kits

Patients and physicians can order test kits by completing the kit order form.