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Cross-reactivity of nonspecific treponemal antibody in serologic tests for Lyme disease.

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Serum samples obtained from 59 persons who had acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, periodontitis, syphilis, or
Lyme disease were tested against Treponema phagedenis biotype Reiter, Treponema denticola, Treponema vincentii, and Treponema scoliodontum by indirect fluorescent-antibody staining methods. Although there were positive reactions for sera representing each of these study groups and for 20 (13%) of 156 samples collected from the general population (premarital screening for syphilis), titration endpoints were relatively low (less than or equal to 1:256). Serum samples from 18 persons who had gingivitis or periodontitis but no history of
Lyme borreliosis were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi. Of these, five (28%) had immunoglobulin M antibody and four (22%) contained immunoglobulin G antibodies to this spirochete. Adsorption with either sorbent commercially prepared from T. phagedenis biotype Reiter or with washed, whole cells of T. phagedenis biotype Reiter reduced cross-reactivity in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for
Lyme borreliosis.

J Clin Microbiol. 1990 Jun;28(6):1276-9.

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