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Borrelia burgdorferi strains (n = 23), isolated from patients (n = 8) and ticks (n = 14), were analyzed by SDS PAGE and Western blotting with monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal sera (rabbit immune serum and sera from patients). Testing the 23 strains by SDS PAGE 9 different patterns of major protein bands were observed. In contrast to US strains some of our strains showed only weak or negative reactivity with the OspA specific monoclonal antibody H5332. Analysis with polyclonal sera gave further support that the OspA proteins of our strains have specific epitopes (recognized by patients sera) besides common ones (recognized by rabbit immune serum). Fifteen of the strains had another major protein in the 22K range without detectable antigenic variability. Patients with erythema migrans and lymphocytic meningitis had a good IgM- and IgG-immunoresponse to this protein. In contrast antibodies to the OspA were very rarely observed, probably due to the antigenetic heterogeneity of the causative agent on the one hand but also due to low response of the human immune system to the OspA on the other hand.