Polymerase chain reaction with the 30-kb circular plasmid of Borrelia burgdorferi B31 as a target for detection of the Lyme borreliosis agents in cerebrospinal fluid

Res Microbiol. Mar-Apr 1993;144(3):211-9. doi: 10.1016/0923-2508(93)90046-5.


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed for use in the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the Lyme disease agent. A 333-bp fragment of the 30-kbp circular plasmid from Borrelia burgdorferi B31 was amplified and PCR products were analysed by DNA-DNA hybridization. Sensitivity was enhanced by addition of a carrier to the samples before treatment and enabled detection of as few as 1 to 10 bacteria. Specific products were obtained only with the Lyme disease agents, but not with other spirochetes or unrelated bacteria. B. burgdorferi sensu lato was detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 11 out of 45 patients with confirmed Lyme neuroborreliosis. In a prospective study, 20 out of 315 CSF samples from potential patients were PCR-positive. Forty uninfected patients were PCR-negative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification*
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lyme Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Prospective Studies