Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi by DNA amplification in synovial tissue samples from patients with Lyme arthritis

Arthritis Rheum. 1996 May;39(5):736-45. doi: 10.1002/art.1780390505.


Objective: To compare the detection rates of chromosomal flagellin gene from Borrelia burgdorferi in synovial tissue (ST) and synovial fluid (SF) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques.

Methods: B burgdorferi DNA was sought in SF and ST from 12 consecutive patients with Lyme arthritis and from 29 patients with noninfectious diseases (controls).

Results: No DNA amplification was observed in samples obtained from the 29 control patients, whereas B burgdorferi DNA was detected in all ST and/or SF samples from the 12 patients with Lyme arthritis. Results from 1 ST sample were not interpretable because of PCR inhibitors. Among the 11 remaining patients, 10 had positive ST samples, whereas only 4 had positive SF samples (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: These data suggest that detection of chromosomal B burgdorferi DNA may be more efficient in ST than SF.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Base Sequence
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / genetics*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / metabolism
  • Child
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / genetics*
  • Lyme Disease / immunology
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Probes / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling
  • Synovial Fluid / metabolism
  • Synovial Fluid / microbiology
  • Synovial Membrane / metabolism
  • Synovial Membrane / microbiology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Oligonucleotide Probes