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Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in urine of patients with ocular Lyme borreliosis.

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Abstract

AIM:

To evaluate the diagnostic value of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in patients with ocular
Lyme borreliosis.

METHODS:

Of 256 consecutive uveitis patients six selected individuals with clinical evidence for
Lyme borreliosis and 30 patients with non-
Lyme uveitis were enrolled.
Lyme serology was performed by ELISA and western blotting. Urine samples were examined by an optimised nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol.

RESULTS:

Only four of six uveitis patients suspected for
Lyme borreliosis were ELISA positive, while all six subjects showed a positive western blot. B burgdorferi PCR was positive in all of these six patients. Whereas two of the 30 controls had a positive
Lyme serology, B burgdorferi DNA was not detectable by PCR in any sample from these patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

PCR for the detection of B burgdorferi DNA in urine of uveitis patients is a valuable tool to support the diagnosis of ocular
Lyme borreliosis. Moreover, these patients often show a weak humoral immune response which may more sensitively be detected by immunoblotting.

Br J Ophthalmol. 2001 May;85(5):552-5. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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