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Dermatology. 1996;192(2):136-9.

Polymerase chain reaction of Borrelia burgdorferi flagellin gene in Shulman syndrome.

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Department of Dermatology, Asahikawa Medical College, Japan.


A 49-year-old man presented a progressive swelling and induration of the skin resulting in flexion contracture. He had a history of two tick bites at the age of 17 and 47 years. Serum anti-Borrelia-burgdorferi antibody was positive; isolation of B. burgdorferi from the skin lesion was unsuccessful. He had eosinophilia (white blood cells 8,300/microlitre, 33% eosinophils) and hypergammaglobulinemia. The diagnosis of Shulman syndrome (eosinophilic fasciitis) from clinical and histological findings was established. A part of the flagellin gene of B. burgdorferi was detected in a skin biopsy sample by using the polymerase chain reaction method. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of detection of B.-burgdorferi-specific DNA from a skin sample of Shulman syndrome.

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