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Value of antibody titers for diagnosis of neuroborreliosis.

Abstract

Neuroborreliosis is a very frequent subtype of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Because of the widely spread inapparent infections finding of diagnosis by analysis of serum antibodies is very difficult. In the years 1990-1994 the serum of 6.775 patients of the Department of Neurology in Homburg, Germany was analysed with regard to Borrelia burgdorferi specific IgG antibodies. 24% showed a positive serum titer and 20% a borderline result. 73 patients showed a specific intrathecal IgG antibody synthesis. In contrast to patients with antibodies in serum these patients showed a significant cumulation during summer. The high percentage of positive serum titers and the season independence support the assumption of widely spread inapparent infections. If a patient shows neurological symptoms the finding of serum antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi is not sufficient for the diagnosis of Neuroborreliosis. A specific intrathecal synthesis of antibodies, is the most reliable serological indicator for Neuroborreliosis. Intrathecal synthesis usually starts three to four weeks after the first clinical symptoms.

Nervenarzt. 1998 Aug;69(8):694-7. English Abstract [1]