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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

Hiroshi Fujiwara, MD, PhD; Keiko Fujiwara, MD, PhD; Ken Hashimoto, MD; Amir H. Mehregan, MD; Gundula Schaumburg-Lever, MD; Robert Lange, MD; Christoph Schempp, MD; Harald Gollnick, MD
Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(1):41-44. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890370047008.
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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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