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Importance of sample preparation for molecular diagnosis of lyme borreliosis from urine.

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Abstract

Urine PCR has been used for the diagnosis of Borrelia burgdorferi infection in recent years but has been abandoned because of its low sensitivity and the irreproducibility of the results. Our study aimed to analyze technical details related to sample preparation and detection methods. Crucial for a successful urine PCR were (i) avoidance of the first morning urine sample; (ii) centrifugation at 36,000 x g; and (iii) the extraction method, with only DNAzol of the seven different extraction methods used yielding positive results with patient urine specimens. Furthermore, storage of frozen urine samples at -80 degrees C reduced the sensitivity of a positive urine PCR result obtained with samples from 72 untreated erythema migrans (EM) patients from 85% in the first 3 months to <30% after more than 3 months. Bands were detected at 276 bp on ethidium bromide-stained agarose gels after amplification by a nested PCR. The specificity of bands for 32 of 33 samples was proven by hybridization with a GEN-ETI-K-DEIA kit and for a 10 further positive amplicons by sequencing. By using all of these steps to optimize the urine PCR technique, B. burgdorferi infection could be diagnosed by using urine samples from EM patients with a sensitivity (85%) substantially better than that of serological methods (50%). This improved method could be of future importance as an additional laboratory technique for the diagnosis of unclear, unrecognized borrelia infections and diseases possibly related to
Lyme borreliosis.

J Clin Microbiol. 2002 Dec;40(12):4581-4. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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