Further characterization of a previously reported 83-kDa antigen of Borrelia burgdorferi and the gene encoding it is reported. The DNA sequence of the gene and the amino acid sequence of the protein were determined. On the basis of the amino acid content, the actual size of the antigen was determined to be 79.8 kDa, rather than 83 kDa as previously reported. The expression of the antigen in several representative North American and European B. burgdorferi isolates was demonstrated. The conservation of the gene within the species was demonstrated by DNA hybridization of a labeled gene probe to several North American and European B. burgdorferi isolates. Of other Borrelia spp. assayed (B. hermsii, B. coriaceae, B. duttonii, and B. anserina), only B. anserina, a poultry pathogen, hybridized to the gene probe and expressed the 79.8-kDa antigen.