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Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in urine of patients with ocular Lyme borreliosis

Abstract

AIM To evaluate the diagnostic value of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detectBorrelia burgdorferi DNA in patients with ocular Lyme borreliosis.

METHODS Of 256 consecutive uveitis patients six selected individuals with clinical evidence for Lyme borreliosis and 30 patients with non-Lyme uveitis were enrolled. Lyme serology was performed by ELISA and western blotting. Urine samples were examined by an optimised nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol.

RESULTS Only four of six uveitis patients suspected for Lyme borreliosis were ELISA positive, while all six subjects showed a positive western blot.B burgdorferi PCR was positive in all of these six patients. Whereas two of the 30 controls had a positive Lyme serology, B burgdorferi DNA was not detectable by PCR in any sample from these patients.

CONCLUSIONS PCR for the detection of B burgdorferi DNA in urine of uveitis patients is a valuable tool to support the diagnosis of ocular Lyme borreliosis. Moreover, these patients often show a weak humoral immune response which may more sensitively be detected by immunoblotting.

  • urine
  • ocular Lyme borreliosis
  • Borrelia burgdorferi DNA

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