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Lack of Association of Bell's Palsy and Borrelia burgdorferi Antibodies

Michel Ruel, MD; Jean Pierre Arzouni, MD; Didier Raoult, MD; Danielle Postic, MD; Georges Tailame, MD; Georges Freyss, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1993;153(14):1725-1726. doi:10.1001/archinte.1993.00410140119014.
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Facial palsy could be a manifestation of Lyme disease.1,2 Due to the relative lack of specificity of the serologic features, matched control serum specimens are needed to evaluate the prevalence of borreliosis in the origin of facial palsy. We tested, using immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis,3 338 cases of facial palsy occurring in 206 adult patients from different places in France and 108 cases in 32 children in whom second serum specimens were available. We also obtained 80 cerebrospinal fluid samples that were tested by means of immunofluorescence and Western blot, inoculated in the Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly modified medium (BSKII)4 for isolation of B burgdorferi and analyzed for gene amplification by means of nested polymerase chain reaction.5 Two hundred forty-four serum specimens obtained from matched control subjects were also tested.

According to the clinical data, 284 cases of Bell's palsy (in 252 adults and in 28 children) were


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