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The ability of a
Lyme borreliosis vaccine to induce and maintain sustained levels of borreliacidal antibody is necessary for prolonged protection against infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Vaccination against infection with B. burgdorferi could be improved by determining the mechanism(s) that influences the production of protective borreliacidal antibody. Borreliacidal antibody was inhibited in cultures of lymph node cells obtained from C3H/HeJ mice vaccinated with formalin-inactivated B. burgdorferi and cultured with macrophages and B. burgdorferi and treated with recombinant gamma interferon (rIFN-gamma). The suppression of production of outer surface protein A (OspA) borreliacidal antibody by rIFN-gamma was not affected by the time of treatment. In addition, treatment with rIFN-gamma inhibited the production of other anti-B. burgdorferi antibodies. By contrast, treatment of cultures of immune lymph node cells with anti-IFN-gamma marginally increased the production of borreliacidal antibody and enhanced the production of other antibodies directed against B. burgdorferi. These results show that IFN-gamma does not play a major role in the production of anti-OspA borreliacidal antibody. Additional studies are needed to determine which cytokine(s) will enhance production of borreliacidal antibody.