Abstract: A DNA vaccine encoding the outer surface protein C from Borrelia burgdorferi is able to induce protective immune responses

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Microbes Infect. 2003 Sep;5(11):939-46.  Scheiblhofer S, Weiss R, Durnberger H, Mostbock S, Breitenbach M, Livey I, Thalhamer J.  Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Immunology Group, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstr. 34, 5020, Salzburg, Austria

The outer surface protein C (OspC) of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease, is a promising candidate for a vaccine against borreliosis. BALB/c and C3H/HeJ mice were immunized either with recombinant OspC protein or with plasmid DNA encoding OspC fused to the human tissue plasminogen activator leader sequence (pCMV-TPA/ZS7). The influence of the route of administering the DNA and the use of oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG-motifs on the development of the immune response was investigated.

In both mouse strains, protein as well as gene-gun immunization induced Th2 type responses, whereas needle injection of plasmid DNA resulted in Th1 type antibody production. Co-injection of CpG-motifs did not significantly modify the response type in any immunization group, as indicated by only marginal changes of antibody subclass distribution.

The protection rate after challenge with 10(4) B. burgdorferi organisms per mouse was between 80% and 100% for all groups. These results demonstrate, for the first time, that a DNA vaccine encoding OspC of B. burgdorferi is suitable for inducing protection against Lyme borreliosis.

PMID: 12941385 [PubMed – in process]

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