Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jcmPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJCM ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Clin Microbiol. 1991 September; 29(9): 1773–1776.
PMCID: PMC270208

Lyme disease assay which detects killed Borrelia burgdorferi.


We developed an in vitro assay showing that Borrelia burgdorferi organisms were killed by serum from patients with Lyme disease. Twenty of 20 Lyme disease serum samples caused B. burgdorferi killing in a range of 36 to 99% compared with the mean number of viable spirochetes when sera from 10 healthy individuals were used. The percentage of killing of B. burgdorferi increased with convalescent serum from patients with early Lyme disease. The borreliacidal activity was detectable in some sera diluted 640-fold and was abrogated after treatment with anti-human immunoglobulin G. In contrast, pooled or individual normal human serum did not cause a decrease in the number of viable B. burgdorferi. Borreliacidal activity was also not detected in sera from patients with relapsing fever, rocky mountain spotted fever, syphilis, mononucleosis, rheumatoid factor, or DNA antibodies. Our results show that borreliacidal activity can be used as a specific serodiagnostic test for detecting Lyme disease.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (807K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page.

Articles from Journal of Clinical Microbiology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)