Characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi strains in Lyme arthritis

Scand J Infect Dis. 1998;30(3):265-8. doi: 10.1080/00365549850160918.


In the study presented, we investigated whether Lyme arthritis is associated with a particular Borrelia burgdorferi genospecies. Using the PCR technique, in 7/11 samples of synovial fluid of patients with Lyme arthritis a part of the ospA-gene was identified and the strains characterized by sequencing of the amplified DNA. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was found in 3 patients, B. garinii in 3, and B. afzelii in 1 patient. In conclusion, Lyme arthritis is caused by all 3 human pathogenetic genospecies which are actually known. For clinical practice PCR proved to be a rather insensitive diagnostic method, but may confirm the diagnosis of Lyme arthritis in doubtful cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / microbiology*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group* / classification
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group* / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group* / isolation & purification
  • Child
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins*
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Species Specificity
  • Synovial Fluid / microbiology


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Lipoproteins
  • OspA protein