Characterization of Lyme borreliosis isolates from patients with erythema migrans and neuroborreliosis in southern Sweden

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Southern Sweden is an area of Lyme borreliosis (LB) endemicity, with an incidence of 9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The most frequent clinical manifestations are erythema migrans (77%) and neuroborreliosis (16%). There was no record of human Borrelia strains being isolated front patients in this region before the prospective study reported here. Borrelia spirochetes were isolated from skin and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from LB patients living in the region. A total of 39 strains were characterized by OspA serotype analysis, species-specific PCR, and signature nucleotide analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. Of 33 skin isolates, 31 (93.9%) were Borrelia afzelii strains and 2 (6.1%) were Borrelia garinii strains. Of six CSF isolates, five (83,3%) were B. garinii and one (16.7%) was B. afzelii, Neither Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strains nor multiple infections were observed, The B. afzelii isolates were of OspA serotype 2, Three B, garinii strains were of OspA serotype 5, and the remaining four strains were of OspA serotype 6, All of the B, garinii strains belonged to the same 16S ribosomal DNA ribotype class, Our findings agree with earlier findings front other geographic regions in Europe where B. afzelii and B, garinii have been recovered predominately from skin and CSF cultures, respectively, To further study the possible presence in Sweden of the genotype B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, which is known to be present in Europe and to occur predominately in patients with Lyme arthritis, molecular detection of Borrelia-specific DNA in synovial samples from LS me arthritis patients should he performed.


  • Katharina Ornstein
  • Johan Berglund
  • Ingrid Nilsson
  • Ragnar Norrby
  • Sven Bergström
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology in the medical area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1294-1298
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Infection Medicine (SUS) (013008000), Family Medicine (013241010)