Introduction and objective:
Serological assays for Lyme disease (LD) routinely performed in laboratories often give inconclusive results, thereby making correct diagnosis difficult and delaying treatment. The aim of the study was to assess the usefulness of a commercial Optiplex Borrelia (OB) assay in the serological diagnostics of LD. Based on the results obtained in a previous study on the seroreactivity of the sera of patients with LD to Borrelia spp. antigens using enzyme immunoassays (ELISA) and immunoblotting (IB), the same sera were re-analyzed using the OB assay.

The assays carried out with the use of OB method showed a statistically significant lower number of positive/borderline results for the presence of IgM antibodies, compared to the ELISA assay. Moreover, statistically lower positive/borderline results were obtained for antibodies in the IgG class with use of the OB method, compared to the IB assay and a two-stage diagnostic protocol (ELISA with IB). The specificity analysis showed that in both the IB and OB assays, anti-OspC IgM and anti-p41 antibodies were detected. Additionally, high positive/borderline values were found in the OB assay for native antigens derived from B. afzelii lysate. The IB assay most frequently detected antibodies against OspC, p39 (BmpA) and VlsE proteins in the IgG class. There were fewer positives/borderlines for anti-p41-I B. afzelii antibodies in the OB assay and a higher number for antigens: VlsE-C6, p18 B. afzelii (DbpA), and p39 B. afzelii (BmpA).

Answering the question whether the OB assay could replace the traditional, two-step method of LD diagnostics, it can be concluded that it could not. It can be used to diagnose LD only as a complementary assay and not as an optimal and dedicated method of Borrelia spp. infection detection.

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