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Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in patients with Lyme borreliosis.


In 18 patients with
Lyme borreliosis the authors proved the persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato by detection of the causal agent by immune electron microscopy or of its DNA by PCR in plasma or cerebrospinal fluid after an interval of 4-68 months. Clinical manifestations common in
Lyme borreliosis were present in only half the patients, in the remainder non-specific symptoms were found. In nine subjects with confirmed Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the cerebrospinal fluid the cytological and biochemical finding was normal. Examination of antibodies by the ELISA method was negative in 7 of 18 patients during the first examination and in 12 of 18 during the second examination. In all negative examinations the specific antibodies were assessed by the Western blot or ELISA method after liberation from the immunocomplexes. In the authors’ opinion it is advisable to examine repeatedly plasma and other biological material from potentially affected organs by PCR and subjects with persisting or relapsing complaints after the acute form of
Lyme borreliosis as well as to examine cerebrospinal fluid in case on non-specific symptoms and concurrent pathic EEG or MR findings.

Epidemiol Mikrobiol Imunol. 2001 Feb;50(1):10-6. English Abstract; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t [1]