Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
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ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2015, vol. 24, nr 4, July-August, p. 663–670

doi: 10.17219/acem/28625

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Lyme Borreliosis – the Utility of Improved Real-Time PCR Assay in the Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Infections

Iwona Bil-Lula1,B,C,D, Patryk Matuszek2,B,C, Thomas Pfeiffer3,B, Mieczysław Woźniak1,A,E,F

1 Department of Clinical Chemistry, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland

2 Euroimmun, Wrocław, Poland

3 Euroimmun AG, Lubeck, Germany


Background. Infections of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato reveal clinical manifestations affecting numerous organs and tissues. The standard diagnostic procedure of these infections is quite simple if a positive history of tick exposure or typical erythema migrans appears. Lack of unequivocal clinical symptoms creates the necessity for further evaluation with laboratory tests.
Objectives. This study discusses the utility of a novel, improved, well-optimized, sensitive and highly specific quantitative real-time PCR assay for the diagnostics of infections caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.
Material and Methods. We designed an improved, specific, highly sensitive real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) assay for the detection and quantification of all Borrelia burgdorferi genotypes. A wide validation effort was undertaken to ensure confidence in the highly sensitive and specific detection of B. burgdorferi.
Results. Due to high sensitivity and great specificity, as low as 1.6 × 10² copies of Borrelia per mL of whole blood could be detected. As much as 12 (3%) negative ELISA IgM results, 14 (2.8%) negative results of Line blot IgM, 11 (3.1%) and 7 (2.7%) of negative ELISA IgG and Line blot IgG results, respectively, were positive in real-time PCR.
Conclusion. The data in this study confirms the high positive predictive value of real-time PCR test in the detection of Borrelia infections.

Key words

borreliosis, RQ-PCR, whole blood.

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