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Borrelia garinii is one of the three major Borreliae responsible for
Lyme borreliosis in Europe. We have characterized a protein of B. garinii (VS102) and a genomic fragment from the gene encoding this protein was cloned. The DNA sequence of the fragment showed high homology with a known gene of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. The protein encoded by this gene in B. burgdorferi sensu stricto is a phosphocarrier protein (histidine-containing protein). A mutation T to G polymorphism at codon 57 was found to be specific to B. garinii. A PCR-based approach that allows the rapid detection of this mutation made it possible to specifically discriminate B. garinii from other B. burgdorferi genospecies with high sensitivity and specificity.