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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1989 Oct;8(10):871-7.

Comparison of Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Danderyd Hospital, Sweden.


The usefulness of Western blot in the serological diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis was evaluated compared with an ELISA using a whole cell sonicate antigen. Fifty-three of 68 (78%) patients with neuroborreliosis had positive IgM and/or IgG immunoblots and 40 of 68 (59%) had positive IgM and/or IgG ELISA titers in serum. Eight of 44 (18%) controls with meningitis/encephalitis of non-borrelia etiology had positive IgM and/or IgG immunoblots and 4 of 44 (9%) had positive IgM and/or IgG ELISA titers in serum. Western blot was more sensitive than ELISA, the difference being most pronounced in sera from patients with neurological disease for four weeks or less. Both patients and controls lived in an area endemic for Lyme borreliosis and some ELISA negative but Western blot positive controls were thought to have been previously exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi. However, the specificity for current disease was not improved by Western blot. In conclusion, Western blot does not seem to be the method of choice for screening purposes in a routine laboratory but can be used as a complement to ELISA for serodiagnosis in patients with disease of short duration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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