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Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species in Europe induce diverse immune responses against C6 peptides in infected mice.

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Abstract

The diversity of
Lyme-borreliosis-inducing Borrelia species in Europe set high standards for the use of serodiagnostic test systems in terms of specificity and sensitivity. In the United States, the one-step C6 antibody test system based on the invariable domain IR6 of the VlsE molecule has been established as a successful diagnostic tool for testing canine samples. However, only a limited set of data are available regarding the antigenicity of the C6 peptides in an experimental murine model and sensitivity of the test regarding European Borrelia species. In order to investigate antibody reactions induced by these spirochetes, a total of 142 C3H/HeN mice were inoculated with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto N40, B. garinii PBi, two isolates of B. afzelii, B. spielmanii A14S, B. valaisiana Rio6, B. valaisiana VS116, or B. lusitaniae. Infection of the mice was documented utilizing tissue culture and PCR. The IR6 sequences of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto B31, B. garinii IP90, and two B. afzelii ACAI strains have been used to synthesize and test additional C6 peptides. Compared to the well-established two-tiered test system, the results indicate that single C6 peptides derived from B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. garinii can be used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based technique to detect murine antibodies induced by either agent. Little is known about the prevalence or pathogenicity of the B. afzelii strains in mammalian hosts, but our experimental data indicate differences in the C6 peptide test sensitivity for the detection of antibodies induced by different strains or isolates of B. afzelii.

Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2009 Nov;16(11):1546-62. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00201-09. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

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