What test will diagnose me with CIRS/Mould Illness?
Diagnosis should first and foremost be made by a CIRS/mould-aware health practitioner looking at a patient’s symptoms and diagnoses, health history, and environmental history in conjunction with biomarker testing. No one test, or even a panel, can diagnose CIRS with 100% accuracy.
Tests 1-5 are the classic Dr. Shoemaker CIRS biomarkers for screening and diagnosis of CIRS
1. Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) (Free or low cost)
A contrast sensitivity test measures your ability to distinguish between finer and finer increments of light versus dark (contrast). Inflammation from CIRS can cause loss of this contrast sensitivity. Dr. Shoemaker claims an accuracy of 92% (8% false negatives, 2% false positives) for the handheld kit, which is the gold standard. Accuracy of the online versions has never been formally studied but, anecdotally, practitioners find it less that those numbers. TMSA advises to try both the Surviving Mold ($15 USD) and VCSTest (free or contribution) and stick with the test that you find most accurate, usually the one where you get more fails.
2. Blood tests (Medicare rebateable)
The following are blood tests with Medicare item numbers. To have these bulk billed will depend on the willingness of your physician to tick the direct bill (DB) box on a test requisition form. VIP and Leptin are the only two tests that fasting is required.
3. Blood tests (Out-of-pocket)
4. Blood tests (Not currently available from an NATA accredited Australian lab)
5. NutriPATH biotoxin/mould panels (Out-of-pocket)
NutriPATH’s blood tests and mould panel (apart from HLA DR/DQ and MARCoNS) cannot be recommended at this time due to inaccuracies compared to Quest Diagnostics. Ref: Mold Illness in Children webinar (35m) and Low Tox Life #55 (39m22s).
Tests 6-7 are not endorsed by Dr. Shoemaker for CIRS diagnosis but are used by a number of health practitioners in the mould illness realm
6. Urinary Mycotoxin tests (Out-of-pocket)
Urinary mycotoxin testing has proven an increasingly popular biomarker test in mould illness. There are three main laboratories in the US doing this testing; Great Plains Laboratory (GPL), Realtime Labs (RTL) and Vibrant. The first two are available in Australia.
7. Serum Mycotoxin antibodies (Out-of-pocket)
Tests 8-9 are endorsed by Dr. Shoemaker for aiding in diagnosis
8. Nasal Swab for MARCoNS and Fungi (Out-of-pocket)
Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci are organisms that colonise in the nasal areas due to low MSH. They produce toxins and deplete MSH further.
19A Crosby Drive
Bedford MA 01730, USA
P: +1 (781) 265 4956
Ordering: Microbiology DX will FedEx collection kits free worldwide, visit the Order Kits page (add Australia to the “City, State, Zip” field) . You don’t have to use FedEx to send the sample back, simple Australia Post Airmail letter ($2.75) is usually fine. Requisition form (PDF).
Add on tests including a biofilm test which will rate the strength of the biofilm from 0 to +3 (only done if MARCoNS is present) and a fungal culture test.
Instructions: Nasopharyngeal Culture Collection Procedure
MARCoNS/bacterial culture: USD $85 (main one to get)
Fungal culture: USD$80
Biofilm analysis: USD$100
Test name: MARCoNS culture
Test code: 3404
Test name: MARCoNS & Fungal culture
Test code: 3418
9. Volumetric MRI Brain Imaging (NeuroQuant) (Partly rebateable)
NeuroQuant by Cortech Labs is a software program that can map brain regions for microscopic changes via an MRI scan. NeuroQuant is not used for diagnosis per se but more for tracking neuroinflammatory and atrophic changes.
49 Baden Powell Street
Maroochydore QLD 4558
P: 07 5409 2800
Note: Primarily only for the patients of Drs. Sandeep Gupta, Rashmi Cabena and Georgina Hale.
Level 3, Xavier Building
360 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
P: 02 8382 3495
I-Med Network Radiology
Suite 3, Level 1
38B Albert Ave
Chatswood NSW 2067
P: 02 8440 3100
Note: This clinic is not recommended as they use a different type of MRI (Phillips Portal) to others that results in incompatible reports.
Imaging Associates Box Hill
Level 1, 116-118 Thames St
Box Hill VIC 3128
P: 03 8843 7999
F: 03 8843 7988
178-190 Cambridge St
P: 08 6382 3888
101 Remuera Road
P: 09 529 4850
There will usually be an additional charge for NeuroQuant processing by Cortechs labs ($$200 AUD).