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Ann Neurol. 1995 Oct;38(4):667-9.

Neuroborreliosis in the nonhuman primate: Borrelia burgdorferi persists in the central nervous system.

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Department of Neurology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


Neurological involvement in Lyme disease is common, and is frequently difficult to diagnose and treat. Little is known about the fate of the causative spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in the central nervous system (CNS). To determine the frequency of parenchymal infection and to determine localization of the organism, polymerase chain reaction/hybridization assays were performed in a newly described model of Lyme neuroborreliosis in nonhuman primates infected with B. burgdorferi. Polymerase chain reaction/hybridization of CNS tissues from 5 infected nonhuman primates was performed. Substantial amounts of B. burgdorferi DNA were detected in the CNS in all infected animals, with a predilection toward subtentorial structures. These data suggest that Lyme neuroborreliosis represents persistent infection with B. burgdorferi.

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