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Detection and preliminary characterization of circulating immune complexes in patients with Lyme disease.

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To investigate whether circulating immune complexes can be used as a
disease marker for assessment of the activity of
Lyme disease and for monitoring patients response to treatment, we tested 104 sera from patients with different stages of
Lyme disease using the C1q enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a modified Raji cell test. Among 62 sera of patients with clinically active
disease 27 sera (43.5%) reacted positively in the C1q-ELISA and 21 sera (33.9%) positively in the Raji cell test. In contrast, serum circulating immune complexes were found in less than 10% of 42 sera after antibiotic treatment. Similar results were obtained by both tests in 35 cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with neuroborreliosis. Most importantly, dot blot analysis revealed the presence of both Borrelia burgdorferi-specific antigen(s) and host-derived components in the isolated immune complexes from serum samples of patients with active
Lyme disease. These results indicate that detection of circulating immune complexes may be an useful parameter for judging the activity of
Lyme disease. Moreover, preliminary characterization of spirochete-specific immune complexes implies new pathophysiological aspects of
Lyme disease.

Med Microbiol Immunol. 1997 Oct;186(2-3):153-8.

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