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Laboratory Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Infections

Part 2


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Which Specimens Should be Tested by PCR?

Slide 29

July 2010

The question is, which specimens should be tested and which ones provide the greatest diagnostic yield? To examine this question, we retrospectively examined the positivity rates of over 23,000 specimens tested by real-time PCR for Borrelia burgdorferi DNA. And it turned out, synovial fluid and tissue samples gave the highest yields, with positivity rates of 6.4% and 6.5% respectively, and surprisingly, CSF and blood only had positivity rates of 0.1% or less. Even more concerning is that 8 of the patients with a positive synovial fluid PCR result also had a blood specimen that was tested concurrently, and all 8 of these specimens were negative. So if only blood had been tested, these cases would have been missed.

Which Specimens Should be Tested by PCR?


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