Content » Vol 77, Issue 4

Clinical Report

No evidence for Borrelia burgdorferi infection in lesions of morphea and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus in Spain. A prospective study and literature review

Alonso-Llamazares J, Persing DH, Anda P, Gibson LE, Rutledge BJ, Iglesias L.
DOI: 10.2340/0001555577299304


The possible association of Borrelia burgdorferi with morphea and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus has been the focus of research and discussion in dermatology during the last 10 years. To investigate the etiopathogenic role of B. burgdorferi in morphea and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus lesions in Spain, we studied 14 cases: 8 patients with lichen sclerosus et atrophicus and 6 with morphea. For the whole group, a prospective study was performed, including serologic studies by indirect immunofluorescence, histologic evaluation of skin biopsy specimens, culture studies, and polymerase chain reaction with different primers sensitive for detecting virtually all B. burgdorferi strains tested to date. Although one patient with morphea had positive serologic findings at low titer, we were not able to culture or detect borrelial DNA in any of the specimens. These findings do not confirm an association between B. burgdorferi and morphea and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus.


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