Spirochetes Isolated From the Blood of Two Patients With Lyme Disease

N Engl J Med. 1983 Mar 31;308(13):740-2. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198303313081302.


We isolated spirochetes from the blood of 2 of 36 patients in Long Island and Westchester County, New York, who had signs and symptoms suggestive of Lyme disease. The spirochetes were morphologically similar and serologically identical to organisms recently found to infect lxodes dammini ticks, which are endemic to the area and have been epidemiologically implicated as vectors of Lyme disease. In both patients, there was a rise in specific antispirochetal antibodies in paired specimens of serum. We conclude that the l. dammini spirochete has an etiologic role in Lyme disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Arthritis, Infectious / microbiology*
  • Blood / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York
  • Spirochaetales / isolation & purification*
  • Spirochaetales Infections / microbiology
  • Tick Infestations / microbiology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial