Polymerase chain reaction for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in skin lesions of early and late Lyme borreliosis

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1995 Jan;14(1):1-5. doi: 10.1007/BF02112610.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a diagnostic tool for Lyme borreliosis on large numbers of samples from clinically well-defined cases of early and late cutaneous borreliosis. Skin biopsy specimens from patients with erythema migrans and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans were analysed blindly together with an equal number of control biopsies. Using two different dilutions of each DNA specimen increased the number of total positives detected. All of the 76 control biopsies were PCR negative. Biopsy specimens from 18 of 26 (69%) erythema migrans lesions and from 22 of 36 (61%) acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans lesions were PCR positive. Fourteen post-therapy biopsies from patients with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans were all negative, supporting the opinion that antibiotic therapy is successful in this chronic manifestation of Lyme borreliosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrodermatitis / diagnosis
  • Acrodermatitis / drug therapy
  • Base Sequence
  • Biopsy
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Erythema Chronicum Migrans / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis*
  • Lyme Disease / pathology
  • Lyme Disease / physiopathology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology


  • DNA, Bacterial