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FlaA was recently found to be associated with flagellar filaments of Borrelia burgdorferi. We tested whether antibodies to this protein are a good indicator of infection, as antibodies to FlaA proteins in other spirochetal infections show an increase in titer. Although overproduction of intact FlaA was highly toxic to Escherichia coli, truncated proteins which lacked the N-terminal signal sequence could be successfully overexpressed. Immunoblotting with sera from mammalian hosts infected with B. burgdorferi indicated that FlaA is not an immunodominant antigen in
Lyme disease. However, sera from two patients reacted with both recombinant and native FlaA protein, suggesting that B. burgdorferi FlaA was antigenic and expressed in vivo.