Seroprevalence of anti-Borrelia antibodies among patients with confirmed sarcoidosis in a region of Japan where Lyme borreliosis is endemic

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1998 Apr;236(4):280-4. doi: 10.1007/s004170050078.


Background: Sarcoidosis is a multisystemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology, while Lyme borreliosis is a multisystemic disorder caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between sarcoidosis and Lyme borreliosis in a region of Japan where Lyme borreliosis is endemic.

Methods: We determined the seroprevalence of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies as well as antibodies three Japanese Borrelia strains by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and dotblot assay using purified Borrelia-specific proteins in 46 patients with confirmed sarcoidosis and 150 controls (50 disease controls and 100 healthy controls) in Hokkaido, the affected region.

Results: Fifteen patients with sarcoidosis (32.6%) tested positive for Borrelia spirochete in both assays, compared with two disease controls (4.0%) and two healthy controls (2.0%). The seroprevalence of anti-Borrelia antibodies in patients with sarcoidosis was much higher in the affected region than in the region in our previous study were Lyme borreliosis is non-endemic.

Conclusion: In a region where Lyme borreliosis is endemic, Borrelia infection may be partially associated with sarcoidosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / immunology*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification
  • Endemic Diseases*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / complications
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lyme Disease / complications
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sarcoidosis / complications
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial