Circulating borrelia burgdorferi in patients with acute Lyme disease: Results of blood cultures and serum DNA analysis
Borrelia burgdorferi Group
To determine the usefulness of blood culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis in detecting circulating Borrelia burgdorferi or its DNA, blood and serum from untreated patients with acute Lyme disease were examined. None of the cultures of blood or serum from the 7 patients tested demonstrated spirochetes. Similarly, all patient serum samples, assayed in two laboratories, were negative for B. burgdorferi DNA using PCR amplification. These results suggest that in patients with acute Lyme disease, spirochetes, spirochete DNA, or both circulate early, only intermittently, or at low levels and that neither culture nor PCR testing of blood or serum, as currently done, appears likely to prove generally useful in the diagnosis of Lyme disease.