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To simplify detection procedures of DNA fragments resulting from PCR, we developed a colorimetric microplate hybridization assay. This format was used for the identification of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causal agent of
Lyme disease. The system relied on the use of a specific capture probe covalently linked to polystyrene plates and a specific polybiotinylated detection probe. DNA fragments, resulting from PCR and sandwiched between these two probes, were detected by enzymatic color development. The new detection format outperformed agarose gel electrophoresis of PCR products in sensitivity and specificity Moreover, in view of its rapidity and simplicity, the system proved appropriate for the routine diagnostic analysis of clinical specimens from
Lyme disease patients. The proposed detection format can be adapted easily to other DNA targets and is suitable for automation.