Status of Borrelia burgdorferi infection after antibiotic treatment and the effects of corticosteroids:

  J Infect Dis. 2000 Mar;181,3:1069-81. Status of Borrelia burgdorferi infection after 
antibiotic treatment and the effects of corticosteroids: An experimental study. Straubinger RK, 
Straubinger AF, Summers BA, Jacobson RH.
James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, 
Ithaca NY, 14853, USA. rks4@cornell.edu
Sixteen specific-pathogen-free beagles were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. Three groups of 4 
dogs were treated with antibiotics for 30 consecutive days starting 120 days after tick exposure; 4 
dogs were untreated controls. At day 420 after tick exposure and again before euthanasia, 2 dogs 
of each group were treated with prednisone for 14 days. All dogs contracted infection and 11 
developed acute arthritis 50-120 days after exposure. After day 120, one of 12 antibiotic-treated 
dogs and 2 of 4 untreated dogs became lame. Antibiotic therapy reduced the freq uency of 
Borrelia-positivity in subsequent skin biopsy samples. After prednisone treatment, both control 
dogs developed severe polyarthritis. At euthanasia, single tissues of the antibiotic-treated dogs 
and multiple tissues of all control dogs were Borrelia-positive by polymerase chain reaction. 
Viable spirochetes were not recovered from antibiotic-treated dogs. Two antibiotic-treated dogs 
showed histologic evidence of minimal lesions, whereas all control dogs had mild polyarthritis
with periarteritis.
16 dogs were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. 120 days after tick exposure, 12 dogs were 
56treated with antibiotics for 30 days; 4 control dogs were not treated. .At euthanasia, single tissues 
of the antibiotic-treated dogs and multiple tissues of all control dogs were Borrelia-positive by 
polymerase chain reaction.[Persistence:] .Do the data indicate an ongoing persistent infection in 
these animals or only the presence of DNA remnants of dead Borrelia..? From this study and our 
previous investigations, 20, it appears likely that B. burgdorferi maintains a persistent infection 
with live organisms albeit at a very low level, p.1079, [Diagnosis:] As demonstrated by the 
injection of heat-killed B. burgdorferi organisms into the skin of an uninfected animal, DNA of 
dead organisms was detectable in our hands only for 3 weeks. These results are in concordance 
with a study in which persistent experimental infection with Treponema pallidum, the spirochetal 
agent of syphilis, was identified by PCR, 21. Wicher et al.[1998] discovered that DNA of dead 
Treponema organisms was removed from or degraded within rabbit tissue within 15-30 days 
after syringe inoculation, p.1079, Our studies show that at least in the dog, blood is an unreliable 
tissue to demonstrate B. burgdorferi infection., p.108




Share This
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.