There is currently no
Lyme disease vaccine commercially available for use in humans. Outer surface protein C (OspC) of the Borrelia has been widely investigated as a potential vaccinogen. At least 38 OspC types have been defined. While the antibody response to OspC is protective, the range of protection is narrow due to the localization of protective epitopes within OspC type-specific domains. To develop a broadly protective vaccine, we previously constructed a tetravalent chimeric vaccinogen containing epitopes from OspC types A, B, K, and D. While this construct elicited bactericidal antibody against strains bearing each of the four OspC types, its solubility was low, and decreasing IgG titer to epitopes near the C-terminus of the construct was observed. In this report, construct solubility and immunogenicity were increased by dialysis against an Arg/Glu buffer. We also demonstrate the immunogenicity of the construct in alum. To further optimize epitope-specific immune responses, several constructs were generated with differing epitope organization or with putative C-terminal protective motifs. Analyses of murine antibody titers and isotype profiles induced by these constructs revealed that while the C-terminal tags did not enhance antibody titer, specific epitope reorganization and reiteration did. These analyses provide important information that can be exploited in the development of chimeric vaccinogens in general.