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Ann Agric Environ Med. 2007 Dec;14(2):209-13.

Molecular and serological diagnosis of Borrelia burgdorferi infection among patients with diagnosed Erythema migrans.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases and Neuroinfections, Medical University, Zurawia 14, 15-540 Białystok, Poland.


The aim of the study was to assess the frequency of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA detection in the blood and urine of patients diagnosed with erythema migrans, and compare the results of PCR-based methods with ELISA methodology. The latter was used to detect serum antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi of the IgM and IgG classes, before and after antibiotic therapy. The study included 86 patients hospitalized in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Neuroinfections in the Medical Academy in Białystok, diagnosed with the erythema migrans phase of Lyme borreliosis. Examinations were carried out twice: the first at the moment of diagnosis (Trial 1), the second after 4 weeks of antibiotic therapy. The study showed that antibiotic therapy in the early phase of borreliosis does not decrease the sensitivity of PCR and that after 4 weeks of therapy (Trial 2), spirochete DNA is still detectable in most patients (45/86). There was no correlation between detectability of spirochete DNA and the presence of antibodies against B. burgdorferi s.l. (assessed by ELISA) during the course of erythema migrans. The largest percentage of positive results in the detection of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA was observed in patients who simultaneously possessed IgM and IgG antibodies against B. burgdorferi, while the lowest percentage of PCR positive results was among patients with only IgM antibodies.

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