Antinuclear antibody seropositivity in fibromyalgia associated with Borrelia-specific T lymphocytes

Author(s): Basant K. Puri*Gary S. Lee and Armin Schwarzbach

DOI: 10.2174/1573397119666230215124048

Current Rheumatology Reviews 2023; 19()


Background: Our group have recently reported that there is no evidence of an association between fibromyalgia and Borrelia-specific T lymphocytes. However, a small number of case reports has suggested that infection by the bacterial genus Borrelia may be associated with the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs).

Objective: To test the hypothesis that those fibromyalgia patients who are ANA seropositive are more likely to show evidence of Borrelia-specific T lymphocyte reactivity than those who are seronegative.

Methods: T lymphocyte reactivity to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (full antigen) was assessed using the enzyme-linked immunospot and serum ANA status was assessed using immunofluorescence in 27 fibromyalgia patients fulfilling the revised diagnostic criteria of the American College of Rheumatology.

Results: The ANA seropositive and seronegative groups were matched for age, sex and ethnicity; the T lymphocyte reactivity to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (full antigen) in the former group (mean 5.60) was significantly higher than that in the seronegative group (mean 1.81; p < 0.05).

Conclusion: This novel study points to an association of ANA seropositivity in fibromyalgia with Borrelia-specific T lymphocytes.

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