Role of Borrelia burgdorferi in the pathogenesis of morphea/scleroderma and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus: A PCR study of thirty-five cases

James R. DeVito, Athir J. Merogi, Thao Vo, Erin E. Boh, Hank K. Fung, Scott M. Freeman, Clay Cockerell, Kelly Stewart, Aizen J. Marrogi

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51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Morphea (localized scleroderma), and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA) share common features with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA), a known chronic form of borreliosis. These include similar histologic findings such as diffuse dermal fibrosis. These observations have led several investigators to consider the possibility of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) as a common etiologic factor among all of these diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of Bb in the pathogenesis of morphea and LSA, by assaying for its presence in lesional skin biopsies from patients with these diseases. We utilized the nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to selectively amplify a longer segment of a Bb-specific somatic gene, on DNA from paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed tissues. The results revealed no Bb-specific DNA sequence in 28 specimens of morphea/scleroderma and 7 of LSA with varying stages of disease. Furthermore, confirmatory Southern blot of the PCR product, resulted in similar findings. These data seriously question the role played by this spirochete in the pathogenesis of morphea and LSA, at least in the southeastern part of the USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Dermatology

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    DeVito, J. R., Merogi, A. J., Vo, T., Boh, E. E., Fung, H. K., Freeman, S. M., Cockerell, C., Stewart, K., & Marrogi, A. J. (1996). Role of Borrelia burgdorferi in the pathogenesis of morphea/scleroderma and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus: A PCR study of thirty-five cases. Journal of Cutaneous Pathology, 23(4), 350-358. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0560.1996.tb01309.x