A method for direct detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner has been developed. Cells are lysed to facilitate release of ribosomal RNA. Lysates are filtered onto nylon membranes that are hybridized with probes specific for sequences in B. burgdorferi 23S rRNA. The technique is rapid and does not require any enzymatic amplification steps. With the use of a cocktail containing five different probes, ≈1,000 organisms could be detected. The assay was successfully applied to direct detection of B. burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis Say nymphs.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1