Concurrent neuroborreliosis and alzheimer's disease: Analysis of the evidence

M. A. Pappolla, R. Omar, B. Saran, A. Andorn, M. Suarez, C. Pavia, A. Weinstein, D. Shank, K. Davis, W. Burgdorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Several recent reports have claimed a possible association between Borrelia burgdorferi infection and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Herein, we describe our search for additional evidence of neuroborreliosis in AD. Brain tissue from neuropathologically confirmed cases of AD was cultured for B burgdorferi using standard microbiologic methods. Material derived from culture was further examined using electron microscopy, direct immunofluorescence, and acridine orange fluorescence. Previous studies have shown high titers of antiborrelia antibodies in CSF in all cases of confirmed neuroborreliosis; therefore, we tested CSF from neuropathologically confirmed cases of AD by indirect immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunoassay. In addition, imprint preparations from AD and control brain tissues were studied by direct immunofluorescence using a monoclonal antiborrelia antibody. Finally, a Western blot method was used to analyze protein extracts from cultures and AD brain tissue for the presence of borrelia antigen. Contrary to previous studies, our results do not support an association between infection with B burgdorferi and AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-757
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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