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New Microbiol. 2007 Oct;30(4):399-410.

Evaluation of a genotyping method based on the ospA gene to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in multiple samples of lyme borreliosis patients.

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Spirochete Laboratory, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Università di Trieste, Italy.


In this study we have developed a new Restriction-Fragment-Length-Polymorphism (RFLP) genotyping method for rapid detection and identification of Borrelia genospecies present as unique species or as co-infection in multiple specimens obtained simultaneously from 29 individual patients affected by early or late Lyme borreliosis (LB). The target of the RFLP-genotyping was the heterogeneous plasmid located ospA gene, thus we developed a method able to detect and differentiate between six clinically relevant Borrelia genospecies circulating in Europe, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, B. afzelii, B. valaisiana, B. bissettii and B. spielmanii. In this study Borrelia DNA could be detected by PCR in at least one specimen of each patient, except in one case of neuroborreliosis (NB); blood samples gave the highest sensitivity in all patient groups. The genotyping indicated that B. afzelii was present in 8 patients with skin involvement, B. garinii in 2 cases of NB and 4 cases with skin involvement, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was detected in one patient with skin involvement and another with Lyme arthritis. Different Borrelia species in distinct specimens were identified in one patient with EM. The RFLP analysis of 11 patients revealed mixed patterns, which suggested pluri-infection with different Borrelia species.

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