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We studied 48 Borrelia isolates that were associated with
Lyme borreliosis or were isolated from ticks and identified three DNA relatedness groups by using the S1 nuclease method. The three DNA groups (genospecies) were associated with specific rRNA gene restriction patterns, protein electrophoresis patterns, and patterns of reactivity with murine monoclonal antibodies. Genospecies I corresponded to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto since it contained the type strain of this species (strain ATCC 35210); this genospecies included 28 isolates from Europe and the United States. Genospecies II was named Borrelia garinii sp. nov. and included 13 isolates from Europe and Japan. Genospecies III (group VS461) included seven isolates from Europe and Japan.