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J Clin Microbiol. 2017 Aug;55(8):2453-2461. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00510-17. Epub 2017 May 31.

T2 Magnetic Resonance Assay-Based Direct Detection of Three Lyme Disease-Related Borrelia Species in Whole-Blood Samples.

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T2 Biosystems, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA.
Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA.
Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA.
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
T2 Biosystems, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA


In early Lyme disease (LD), serologic testing is insensitive and seroreactivity may reflect active or past infection. In this study, we evaluated a novel assay for the direct detection of three species of Borrelia spirochetes in whole blood. The T2 magnetic resonance (T2MR) assay platform was used to amplify Borrelia DNA released from intact spirochetes and to detect amplicon. Analytical sensitivity was determined from blood spiked with known concentrations of spirochetes, and the assay's limit of detection was found to be in the single-cell-per-milliliter range: 5 cells/ml for B. afzelii and 8 cells/ml for Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii Clinical samples (n = 66) from confirmed or suspected early LD patients were also analyzed. B. burgdorferi was detected using T2MR in 2/2 (100%) of blood samples from patients with confirmed early LD, based on the presence of erythema migrans and documentation of seroconversion or a positive real-time blood PCR. T2MR detected B. burgdorferi in blood samples from 17/54 (31%) of patients with probable LD, based on the presence of erythema migrans without documented seroconversion or of documented seroconversion in patients with a compatible clinical syndrome but without erythema migrans. Out of 21 clinical samples tested by real-time PCR, only 1 was positive and 13 were negative with agreement with T2MR. An additional 7 samples that were negative by real-time PCR were positive with T2MR. Therefore, T2MR enables a low limit of detection (LoD) for Borrelia spp. in whole blood samples and is able to detect B. burgdorferi in clinical samples.


Lyme disease; diagnostics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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