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Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA by polymerase chain reaction in urine specimens of patients with erythema migrans lesions.

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A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi-specific DNA in the urine of patients with erythema migrans (EM). The target for the PCR was a specific region of the flagellin gene, and DNA was extracted from urine by Chelex resin. The detection limit was 1-10 genomes of B. burgdorferi, B. garinii or B. afzelii. A prospective study was performed with 12 consecutively diagnosed patients with EM, to evaluate the PCR assay on clinical samples. Borrelia burgdorferi-specific DNA could be detected in urine specimens from the 12 patients with EM before antibiotic therapy. Five weeks after therapy all the patients were negative by PCR of urine. Results of the present study confirm that the described PCR assay is sensitive and that this sort of test allows monitoring of the efficacy of therapy in patients with early
Lyme borreliosis.

Mol Cell Probes. 1997 Apr;11(2):89-94.

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