Endotoxin-like activity associated with Lyme disease Borrelia

Zentralbl Bakteriol Mikrobiol Hyg A. 1986 Dec;263(1-2):142-5. doi: 10.1016/s0176-6724(86)80116-x.


The newly recognized spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme Disease, has been examined for endotoxin-like activities as measured by the standard Farmacopea Ufficiale della Republica Italiana rabbit fever test and the Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay. The suspension of heat-killed microorganism caused a febrile response at a dose of 1 X 10(8) bacteria pro kilo. Similar results were obtained in the Limulus assay where the heat-killed spirochetes stimulated formation of solid clot until the concentration of 1 X 10(5) per ml. Both in pyrogen test and in Limulus assay heat-killed Escherichia coli exhibited a higher degree of potency. These results show that LD-Borrelia possess endotoxin-like activities which could help in understanding the pathogenesis of the clinical symptomatology of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Borrelia / pathogenicity*
  • Endotoxins / analysis*
  • Fever / etiology
  • Limulus Test
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology
  • Rabbits
  • Ticks / microbiology


  • Endotoxins