Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
The neurological manifestations of
Lyme disease have been proposed to be partly due to cytokine-mediated immunopathological mechanisms. In this study, the number of Borrelia-specific cells secreting interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 was determined in blood and cerebrospinal fluid from patients with CNS borreliosis (n = 23), other neurological diseases (n = 20), and in blood from healthy controls (n = 10), utilizing an ELISPOT-assay. Elevated specific secretion of IFN-gamma was found in CNS borreliosis, most pronounced in cerebrospinal fluid, whereas secretion of IL-4 was strikingly low. This may indicate that symptoms are due to side effects of the immune response, since IFN-gamma secretion in the absence of corresponding levels of IL-4 may be associated with tissue destruction.