The Performance of Nine Commercial Serological Screening Assays for the Diagnosis of Lyme Borreliosis: a Multicenter Modified Two-Gate Design Study
SourceMicrobiology spectrum, 10, 2, (2022), article e0051022
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
In this retrospective study, the performance of nine serological screening assays for Lyme borreliosis (LB) diagnostics was evaluated using a study population of LB cases and controls. Sera derived from 74 well-defined LB cases and 122 controls were included. The LB cases were diagnosed with erythema migrans (EM; n = 11), Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB; n = 35), Lyme arthritis (LA; n = 20), or acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA; n = 8). Controls comprised 74 age- and gender-matched healthy individuals and 48 patients with other diseases with anticipated high rates of cross-reactivity. The assays under evaluation were selected based on a literature review and expected continued availability with CE marking under the new in vitro diagnostic regulation (European Union) 2017/746. The overall sensitivity (IgG and IgM results combined) among LB cases ranged between 54.5% (6 of 11) and 90.9% (10 of 11) for EM patients and between 97.1% (34 of 35) and 100% for patients with LNB, LA, and ACA. The positivity rate ranged between 8.1% (6 of 74) and 29.7% (22 of 74) among the healthy controls and between 22.9% (11 of 48) and 64.6% (31 of 48) among the cross-reactivity controls. The IgM results were more heterogeneous than the IgG and IgM/IgG results and did not contribute to the overall sensitivity but substantially increased the positivity rates among the controls. In conclusion, all evaluated Borrelia serological screening assays performed comparably with respect to early- and late-disseminated LB. The addition of an IgM assay to the screening of Borrelia-specific IgG antibodies had no added value for the diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis. IMPORTANCE Serology plays an important role in the diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis. Guidelines prescribe a two-tier testing algorithm in which a highly sensitive screening assay is used for screening and reactive sera are retested with an immunoblot to reduce false positivity rates. Recently, two commonly used screening assays were discontinued, including the very well-performing C6 Lyme enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (Immunetics). This study provides an evaluation of the performance of nine different Borrelia serology screening assays, eight with expected future availably and the C6 Lyme ELISA, using a well-defined study panel of Lyme borreliosis patients, healthy population controls, and cross-reactivity controls. Evaluation data on multiple assays aid diagnostic laboratories in their choice for a reliable Borrelia serology screening assay to improve their diagnostic algorithm for Lyme borreliosis.
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