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Biomed Environ Sci. 2010 Oct;23(5):341-9. doi: 10.1016/S0895-3988(10)60074-8.

Interpretation criteria for standardized Western blot for the predominant species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in China.

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State Key Laboratory for Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control, National Institute of Communicable Disease Control & Prevention, Chinese Center of Disease Control & Prevention, Beijing 102206, China.



Western blotting (WB; immunoblotting) is a widely used tool for the serodiagnosis of Lyme borreliosis (LB), but so far, no generally accepted criteria for its performance and interpretation have been established in China. The present study was designed to determine the criteria for standardized Western blot for the predominant species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in China, in which WB was produced with strain PD₉₁ as the representative strain attributed to predominant genospecies Borrelia garinii of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.


Approximately 13 bands between 14 and 100 kD were differentiated for strain PD₉₁ by using Gel-Pro analysis software. In a study with 631 serum samples (taken from 127 patients with Lyme borreliosis and 504 controls), all observed bands were documented. To establish criteria for a positive WB result for strain PD₉₁, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used.


The following interpretation criteria were recommended: for IgG, at least one band of P83/100, P58, P39, P30, OspC, P17, P66, and OspA; for IgM, at least one band of P83/100, P58, OspA, P30, OspC, P17 or P41. In addition, syphilis, leptospirosis and other related diseases should be excluded when the positive band is P41 in IgM. For IgG criteria, the sensitivity is 73.2%, the specificity is 99.4% and Youden index is 0.726; for IgM criteria, the sensitivity is 50.6%, the specificity is 93.1% and Youden index is 0.437.


Standardization of WB assays is necessary for comparison of results from different laboratories. Moreover, the criteria of other genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato should be determined in the future to complete the criteria of WB for the diagnosis of the Lyme disease in China.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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