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Volume: 4
Issue: 07
Date: 28-May-96


Table of Contents:

I.    NEW MICROBIOL: Lyme disease seroprevalence in a region of
      central Italy
II.   ZENTRALBL VETERINARMED: Borrelia in pigeons: no serological
      evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection
III.  J NEUROL: Lyme borreliosis and cranial neuropathy
IV.   J CLIN MICROBIOL: Sera from OspA-vaccinated dogs, but not
      those from tick-infected dogs, inhibit in vitro growth of
      Borrelia burgdorferi
V.    CLIN INFECT DIS: Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu
      lato in resolved erythema migrans lesions
VI.   About The LymeNet Newsletter


Newsletter:

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*                         LymeNet Newsletter                          *
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IDX#                Volume 4 - Number 07 - 5/28/96
IDX#                            INDEX
IDX#
IDX#  I.    NEW MICROBIOL: Lyme disease seroprevalence in a region of
IDX#        central Italy
IDX#  II.   ZENTRALBL VETERINARMED: Borrelia in pigeons: no serological
IDX#        evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection
IDX#  III.  J NEUROL: Lyme borreliosis and cranial neuropathy
IDX#  IV.   J CLIN MICROBIOL: Sera from OspA-vaccinated dogs, but not
IDX#        those from tick-infected dogs, inhibit in vitro growth of
IDX#        Borrelia burgdorferi
IDX#  V.    CLIN INFECT DIS: Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu
IDX#        lato in resolved erythema migrans lesions
IDX#  VI.   About The LymeNet Newsletter
IDX#




I.    NEW MICROBIOL: Lyme disease seroprevalence in a region of
     central Italy
---------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Santino I, Nicosia R, Sessa R, Pustorino R, Pastorelli D
        Isacchi G, Del Piano M
ORGANIZATION: II Chair of Clinical Microbiology, University of Roma,
             La Sapienza, Italy.
REFERENCE: New Microbiol 1995 Oct;18(4):391-8
ABSTRACT:


The present study reports the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to
B. burgdorferi by testing sera from volunteer blood donors in Latium,
a region of Central Italy. All samples were tested by ELISA and the
positive samples were assayed by Western blotting as a confirmatory
test.  A positivity rate of 4.3% was recorded by ELISA, while after
the confirmatory test by Western blotting the positivity rate
decreased to 1.5%.  The presence of significant antibody titers to
B. burgdorferi in the sera of healthy subjects shows that further
investigations are necessary to clarify the real prevalence of Lyme
disease in our region.



=====*=====


II.   ZENTRALBL VETERINARMED: Borrelia in pigeons: no serological
     evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection
-----------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Fabbi M, Sambri V, Marangoni A, Magnino S, Solari Basano F
        Cevenini R, Genchi C
ORGANIZATION: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e
             dell'Emilia 'Bruno Ubertini', Pavia, Italia.
REFERENCE: Zentralbl Veterinarmed [B] 1995 Oct;42(8):503-7
ABSTRACT:


In order to clarify the supposed involvement of urban pigeons (Columba
livia livia) in the epidemiology of Lyme disease, the presence of
antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia anserina in
pigeons' sera, collected in 12 areas of northern and central Italy,
was evaluated.  This evaluation was carried out using a classic
immunofluorescence assay (IFA), a surface immunofluorescence assay
(SIFA) and a standard Western Blot (WB) assay.  A total of 104 out
of 3,186 (3.26%) serum samples were positive for both spirochetes
when tested by IFA, with titres ranging from 1/40 to 1/1280.
All positive specimens showed the same or a higher reactivity against
B. anserina than against B. burgdorferi.  Of the IFA positive
samples, 30 were tested by WB and SIFA to evaluate further the
specificity of the antibody response, i.e. to try to clarify against
which spirochete the antibodies were raised.  The presence of
antibodies against the 23 kDa protein exclusive to B. anserina, and
against epitopes which are not surface-exposed and which are common

to B. anserina and B. burgdorferi, was assessed by WB and SIFA.
No serological evidence that B. burgdorferi can infect pigeons was
found.



=====*=====


III.  J NEUROL: Lyme borreliosis and cranial neuropathy
--------------------------------------------------------
AUTHOR: Kindstrand E
REFERENCE: J Neurol 1995 Oct;242(10):658-63
ABSTRACT:


In a 2-year study of 37 consecutive adult patients with isolated
cranial nerve affection of primarily unknown origin, seen at a
neurological clinic, borrelia infection was identified as the cause
in six cases.  Four patients had a peripheral facial palsy and two
had a sixth nerve palsy.  The patients with borreliosis had headaches
or other pain considerably more often than patients with other or
unknown aetiology.  All six patients had accompanying symptoms and/or
signs; in five cases these were obvious, and pointed to a borrelia
infection.  This study indicates that a careful history to elicit
other symptoms of Lyme borreliosis will usually identify the cranial
nerve affections with borrelial aetiology in adult patients. To
verify the diagnosis, both serum and CSF analysis should be performed.
Routine testing for borrelia serology in all patients with cranial
neuropathy is generally not indicated.



=====*=====


IV.   J CLIN MICROBIOL: Sera from OspA-vaccinated dogs, but not those
     from tick-infected dogs, inhibit in vitro growth of Borrelia
     burgdorferi
---------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Straubinger RK, Chang YF, Jacobson RH, Appel MJ
ORGANIZATION: James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of
             Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
ABSTRACT:


Dogs were challenged with Borrelia burgdorferi by exposure to ticks,
with or without prior protection from infection by recombinant OspA
(rOspA) vaccination.  Sera from these dogs were tested for their
capability to inhibit the growth of B. burgdorferi in vitro.
Bacterial growth was detected by a color change in the culture medium,
and the optical density was measured with a spectrophotometer in
microtiter plates.  By growth inhibition, which was complement
dependent, the color change was lacking after 5 days of incubation.
Over a 1-year study, nonvaccinated dogs infected by exposure to ticks
showed high antibody titers to B. burgdorferi by kinetic enzyme-linked
immunosorbent assay (KELA).  The same sera did not inhibit spirochetal
growth or did so only at a low dilution.  These results corresponded
to the lack of OspA and OspB antibodies seen in Western blots
(immunoblots), and these dogs were not protected from infection or
disease.  


In contrast, dogs immunized with rOspA prior to challenge with
infected ticks produced high antibody titers, as determined by KELA,
but their sera also had high growth-inhibiting antibody titers.  
Western blot analysis showed a strong band in the 32-kDa region when
the sera of these dogs were tested.  When adjuvant was administered
with rOspA, antibody titers by both KELA and growth inhibition were
higher and persisted longer in the immunized dogs.  All dogs immunized
with rOspA were protected from infection and disease.



=====*=====


V.    CLIN INFECT DIS: Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato
     in resolved erythema migrans lesions
---------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Strle F, Cheng Y, Cimperman J, Maraspin V, Lotric-Furlan S
        Nelson JA, Picken MM, Ruzic-Sabljic E, Picken RN
ORGANIZATION: Department of Infectious Diseases, University Medical
             Centre, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
REFERENCE: Clin Infect Dis 1995 Aug;21(2):380-9
ABSTRACT:


Erythema migrans skin lesions resulting from a tick bite and infection
with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato eventually resolve, even without
antibiotic therapy.  The aim of the present study was to gauge the
frequency of persistence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in such lesions.
Thus, the site of a previous lesion was biopsied and cultured in 48
patients: 39 with systemic or localized symptoms/signs and nine with
no symptoms.  B. burgdorferi sensu lato was isolated from biopsied
skin from three symptomatic patients.  Cultures of other tissues and
fluids were negative.  By genospecies-specific polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) and pulsed-field gel electrophoretic (PFGE) analysis,
two isolates were classified as Borrelia afzelii.  The remaining
isolate was a member of an unusual group of strains that type as B.
burgdorferi sensu stricto by genospecies PCR but possess an atypical
PFGE profile.  All three patients had a dramatic clinical response to
antibiotic treatment.  These findings demonstrate the capacity of

viable B. burgdorferi sensu lato organisms to persist in clinically
normal-appearing skin at the site of a resolved erythema migrans rash
for periods ranging from 2 months to 3.5 years.  This observation may
provide new insight into the organisms' ability to evade the host's
immune response.



=====*=====


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