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Borrelia burgdorferi (strain B. afzelii) antibodies among Malaysian blood donors and patients.

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In this study, the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi (strain B. afzelii) among Malaysian blood donors and patients admitted to hospital with various infectious diseases was determined. Sera were screened using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); positive sera were then subjected to Western blot testing. All but one of the blood donors were negative for borrelial antibodies. Of 121 patients’ sera, IgM antibodies were detected in 24 (19.8%) and IgG antibodies were detected in 5 (4.1%) sera. Only one of two patients with skin manifestations suggestive of
Lyme disease had IgM antibody against B. afzelii. Of 30 patients with exposure to tick typhus, 4 (13.3%) were IgM positive and 1 (3.3%) was IgG positive. Based on the detection of antigenic bands by Western blot, 6 patients’ sera showed positive reactions. Antigenic bands of p39, p41 and p59/62 kDa were the commonest findings of Western blotting. This study provides serological evidence of B. afzelii infections in Malaysia; further investigation is needed to correlate serological and clinical findings.

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2002 Dec;33(4):787-93.

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