Background: Our group have recently reported that there is no evidence of an associa-tion 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 pres-ence 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 sero-negative.
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 immunofluores-cence 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 1.77; p < 0.05).
Conclusion: This novel study points to an association of ANA seropositivity in fibromyalgia with Borrelia-specific T lymphocytes.
Keywords: Antinuclear antibody, fibromyalgia, T lymphocytes, Borrelia, immune response, autoimmune disease, enzyme-linked immunospot.