The sensitivity of six different ELISA techniques and calculation methods for the determination of intrathecal synthesis of IgG antibodies specific to Borrelia burgdorferi was investigated in paired CSF and serum specimens from 33 patients with neuroborreliosis. The diagnostic value of the Antibody Index (AI) was compared with the meaningfulness of serum antibodies to B. burgdorferi (Bb), established by immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The AI, as a standard for intrathecal antibody synthesis was determined from specific antibody ratios (QBb) in the CSF and serum and the CSF/serum ratio of IgG (QIgG) or albumin (QAlb). Using Western blotting with identical concentrations of IgG in the CSF and serum all patients displayed intrathecal synthesis of specific antibodies to at least two B. burgdorferi proteins. The different ELISA methods and calculation procedures were almost equivalent in demonstrating intrathecal synthesis of specific antibodies (32 and 33/33). Calculation of AI from IFA titers was somewhat less sensitive (30/33). In 5 patients titers of serum IgG- and IgM-antibodies to B. burgdorferi determined by IFA were within the normal range or borderline, while elevated AIBb values indicated an autochthonous immune response to B. burgdorferi in the CSF. In uncertain cases of neuroborreliosis calculation of AI from ELISA titers will be useful in clarifying the diagnosis.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences
J Neurol Sci. 1993 Aug;118(1):64-72