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The significance of serum anti-Borrelia antibodies in the diagnostic work-up of uveitis.



To assess the utility of testing uveitis patients for anti-Borrelia antibodies in an area endemic for
Lyme borreliosis.


We examined 161 uveitis patients for serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi by
Lyme ELISA. Antibodies were determined in patients with uveitis of unknown etiology and non-selectively from patients with an established diagnosis.


Concentrations of antibodies to B. burgdorferi were elevated in 26 uveitis patients (16.1%), with elevated IgG in 11 of them (6.8%). In four of these patients
Lyme borreliosis was a highly suggestive cause of uveitis because of a history of tick bites, systemic symptoms, response to antibiotic therapy, and/or a positive polymerase chain reaction result. Other causes of uveitis were ruled out. All these patients had vitritis.


Non-selective testing of uveitis patients for
Lyme antibodies is not reasonable even in endemic areas. We recommend using the Borrelia antibody test only in cases of uveitis of unknown cause, especially in patients with vitritis or other symptoms of
Lyme borreliosis.

Eur J Ophthalmol. 1997 Jul-Sep;7(3):251-5. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t [1]