The diagnosis of
Lyme borreliosis (LB) is commonly made by serologic testing with Western blot (WB) analysis serving as an important supplemental assay. Although specific, the interpretation of WBs for diagnosis of LB (i.e.,
Lyme WBs) is subjective, with considerable variability in results. In addition, the processing, reading, and interpretation of
Lyme WBs are laborious and time-consuming procedures. With the need for rapid processing and more objective interpretation of
Lyme WBs, we evaluated the performances of two automated interpretive systems, TrinBlot/BLOTrix (Trinity Biotech, Carlsbad, CA) and BeeBlot/ViraScan (Viramed Biotech AG, Munich, Germany), using 518 serum specimens submitted to our laboratory for
Lyme WB analysis. The results of routine testing with visual interpretation were compared to those obtained by BLOTrix analysis of MarBlot immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG and by ViraScan analysis of ViraBlot and ViraStripe IgM and IgG assays. BLOTrix analysis demonstrated an agreement of 84.7% for IgM and 87.3% for IgG compared to visual reading and interpretation. ViraScan analysis of the ViraBlot assays demonstrated agreements of 85.7% for IgM and 94.2% for IgG, while ViraScan analysis of the ViraStripe IgM and IgG assays showed agreements of 87.1 and 93.1%, respectively. Testing by the automated systems yielded an average time savings of 64 min/run compared to processing, reading, and interpretation by our current procedure. Our findings demonstrated that automated processing and interpretive systems yield results comparable to those of visual interpretation, while reducing the subjectivity and time required for
Lyme WB analysis.