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Cellular immune findings in Lyme disease. Correlation with serum IgM and disease activity.

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Cellular immune findings were studied in 48 patients with various stages of
Lyme disease. At each stage, some patients, particularly those with neuritis or carditis, had elevated serum IgM levels and lymphopenia. During early
disease, mononuclear cells tended to respond normally to phytohemagglutinin, and spontaneous suppressor cell activity was greater than normal. Later, during active neuritis, carditis, or arthritis, the trend was toward heightened phytohemagglutinin responsiveness and less suppression than normal. By multiple regression analysis, serum IgM levels correlated directly with
disease activity (p = 0.025) and inversely with the number of T cells (p = 0.02); during acute
disease only, elevated IgM levels correlated with increased phytohemagglutinin responsiveness (p = 0.004) and decreased suppressor cell activity (p = 0.03). Decreased suppression, observed later in the
disease, may permit damage to host tissues because of either autoimmune phenomena or a heightened response to the
Lyme spirochete.

Am J Med. 1984 Oct;77(4):625-32. Case Reports; Comparative Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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