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Antigenic and genomic analysis of a Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strain isolated from Ixodes ricinus ticks in Alto Adige-South Tyrol, Italy.

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Abstract

A Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strain isolated from IXodes ricinus ticks in Alto Adige-South Tyrol (Northern Italy) was analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of whole cell proteins, Western immunoblotting analysis (WBA) with polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The isolate named BZ6 was identified as belonging to the genospecies B. burgdorferi sensu stricto on the basis of its protein profile and its reactivity with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. The PFGE study performed with the two rare-cutting restriction enzymes MluI and SmaI confirmed the SDS-PAGE and WBA characterizations, but showed a genetic diversity between the isolate and two out of the three B. burgdorferi sensu stricto strains used in this study as controls, the American type strain B31 and the locally isolated strain BZ1. No difference in the PFGE patterns between the isolate BZ6 and the Swiss strain IRS was noted. Our findings show the value of PFGE analysis for classifying B. burgdorferi sensu lato isolates and for revealing their genetic diversity, and its usefulness for epidemiological investigations.

Eur J Epidemiol. 1998 Jul;14(5):511-7.

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