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Persistence of serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in patients treated for Lyme disease.

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Abstract

To determine if antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi persist after antibiotic treatment, we recalled 32 patients with
Lyme disease from a primary care practice a mean of 16 months after treatment and analyzed initial and follow-up serum samples by ELISA and immunoblot assays. Of the eight patients whose initial serum specimens were positive for IgM antibody by ELISA, three had positive titers of IgM antibody at follow-up; of the 23 patients whose initial serum specimens were positive for IgG antibody by ELISA, 19 had positive titers of IgG at follow-up. Of the five patients whose initial serum specimens were positive for IgM antibody by immunoblot, two had positive titers of IgM antibody at follow-up; of the 30 patients whose initial serum specimens were positive for IgG antibody by immunoblot, 29 had positive titers of IgG antibody at follow-up. The bands on the IgG immunoblot remained remarkably constant during the period from analysis of the initial specimen to that of the follow-up specimen. Nine of the 32 patients had persistent or recurrent symptoms, and ELISA and immunoblot were not helpful for identifying these nine patients.

Clin Infect Dis. 1992 Nov;15(5):788-93.

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