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Neuroborreliosis is the most frequent manifestation of the second stage of
Lyme borreliosis in Europe. However, only few isolates from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have been characterized with controversial results. A large panel of 36 CSF isolates isolated over a 10-year period in Munich has now been analyzed for their OspA and OspC type, resulting in at least eight different types, respectively. Representatives of the different types cultivated from CSF in Munich have also been isolated from other geographical regions in Europe from CSF or ticks, suggesting a widespread distribution of pathogenic strains. A certain OspA type (type 4) was frequently observed in adults but rarely in children or ticks. Since OspA and OspC are the most promising candidates for a Borrelia vaccine, the considerable heterogeneity found among CSF isolates has important implications for development of a vaccine in Europe.