Project Details


Cases of Lyme disease (LD), due to the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi
(Bb), are increasing. Accurate laboratory tests are needed to establish or
exclude an early diagnosis of Lyme disease and to monitor the efficacy of
therapy. The overall objective of this proposal is to assess Bb specific
immune complexes (IC) as a sensitive and specific marker for: early
diagnosis, for active infection, and for the efficacy of therapy in Lyme
disease. Specific Aims are to determine (1) whether antibody (Ab) to Bb in
IC (with corresponding Bb antigen) is detectable earlier than free anti-Bb
Ab, within a clinically useful time period; and (2) whether the response to
therapy correlates with the relative quantity of complexed Bb Ab (i.e.,
more early in the infection, with less or none after eradication and
recovery) using serial serum samples from individual patients. The rationale for this study is the general observation that in many
infections complexed Ab, bound to its antigen (Ag) target, can be detected
before free Ab. In addition, in contradistinction to free Ab, complexed Ab
is likely to reflect active disease. Our data supports these concepts in
Lyme disease. In addition to a huge frozen serum bank, we will
longitudinally study IC and free Ab and Ag components, in serial serum
samples, from patients (25-50 per year) who fulfill a rigid definition of
Lyme disease and controls. We will use a practical and simple,
polyethylene glycol, assay to isolate and dissociate the IC, as well as
other assays, in conjunction with ELISA and Western blots. Results will be
statistically analyzed to prove or disprove the hypotheses of the specific
Effective start/end date9/30/912/28/97


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)

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