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Lyme disease in Chile. Prevalence study in selected groups.

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The prevalence of
Lyme disease in Chile is unknown.


To study the existence and epidemiology of
Lyme disease in Chile.


One hundred eighteen patients with signs or symptoms suggestive of
Lyme disease were studied. Antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi were measured using ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence screening tests. Positive cases were confirmed with ELISA using a purified antigen and Western Blot analysis. Human biological samples and ticks were cultured in BSK-H medium.


Five patients, three with dermatological manifestations and two with facial palsy and other neurological symptoms, had antibodies against Borrelia, measured by ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence. However the presence of IgM antibodies by ELISA using purified antigen, was confirmed in only one case. All sera and cerebrospinal fluids were negative on Western Blot Analysis. No plasma, skin, CSF or thick culture yielded Borrelia


We could not confirm the existence of
Lyme disease in Chile. Positive screening with negative confirmatory test suggests false positive non-specific reactivity or that local Borrelia are antigenically different compared to North American strains.

Rev Med Chil. 1996 May;124(5):537-44. English Abstract; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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