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January 1997

Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA (B garinii or B afzelii) in Morphea and Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus Tissues of German and Japanese but Not of US Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich (Drs H. Fujiwara, K. Fujiwara, Hashimoto, and Mehregan); Department of Dermatology, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan (Drs H. Fujiwara and K. Fujiwara); Pinkus Dermatopathology Laboratory, Monroe, Mich (Dr Mehregan); Department of Dermatology, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, Germany (Dr Schaumburg-Lever); Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Immanuel-Hospital, Berlin, Germany (Dr Lange); Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Steglitz, Free University of Berlin (Dr Schempp); and Department of Dermatology, Otto-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany (Dr Gollnick).

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(1):41-44. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890370047008

Objective:  To elucidate the geographic and genospecific association of Borrelia with morphea and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA).

Design:  The association of Borrelia burgdorferi with morphea and LSA has been reported, but is still controversial. We conducted a retrospective survey of Borrelia DNA in skin biopsy specimens.

Settings:  The samples were collected from the outpatient clinic of university hospitals and a dermatopathology laboratory.

Patients:  Skin biopsy specimens (19 morphea and 34 LSA) were obtained from patients in the United States, Japan, and Germany. DNA samples were subjected to amplification with polymerase chain reaction for B burg-dorferi flagellin gene, and for the genotype-specific detection of B burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia afzelii.

Results:  Five cases of morphea and 2 cases of LSA in Germany and Japan yielded positive signals for B garinii or B afzelii, the European species. None of the American samples were positive for Borrelia polymerase chain reaction. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was not detected in any of the specimens.

Conclusion:  Morphea and LSA in Germany and Japan can be related with European genotypes of Borrelia.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:41-44

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