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This study was designed to improve the recovery of Borrelia burgdorferi from blood. With the techniques used, B. burgdorferi could be recovered from the blood of approximately 25% of patients with early
Lyme disease associated with erythema migrans. Serum was a better source of culture material than whole blood. The volume of blood cultured correlated directly with yield, particularly for patients with a single erythema migrans lesion.