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J Infect Dis. 1990 Jun;161(6):1203-9.

Evaluation of the intrathecal antibody response to Borrelia burgdorferi as a diagnostic test for Lyme neuroborreliosis.

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Division of Rheumatology/Immunology, New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111.


The intrathecal antibody response to Borrelia burgdorferi was evaluated in American and West German patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis. By an antibody capture enzyme immunoassay, 12 (92%) of 13 patients from the USA with Lyme meningitis were found to have intrathecal antibody production to B. burgdorferi, usually of multiple isotypes, most commonly IgA. Of 12 patients with putative late central nervous system manifestations of Lyme disease, 5 (42%) had local production of IgG or IgA spirochetal antibody, but cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) abnormalities could not be demonstrated in 6 patients with late peripheral nervous system manifestations of the disorder. Compared with American patients, 30 European patients with neuroborreliosis had significantly higher CSF:serum ratios of specific antibody both early and late in the illness. Intrathecal antibody determinations are the most specific diagnostic test currently available for Lyme neuroborreliosis, but local antibody production in CSF is an inconsistent finding in American patients with late neurologic manifestations of the disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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