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We showed that immune serum and its immunoglobulin fractions, specifically immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2), could confer complete protection to irradiated hamsters challenged with the
Lyme disease spirochete. Immune serum and its immunoglobulin fractions also killed Borrelia burgdorferi in vitro. Depletion of complement in vivo abrogated the ability of IgG2 to confer complete protection against B. burgdorferi. Furthermore, the majority of antibody reactivity directed against B. burgdorferi was found in the IgG2 fraction. These findings demonstrate that IgG2 plays an important role in acquired resistance against infection with B. burgdorferi. Additional studies are needed to determine the mechanism(s) by which B. burgdorferi evades host defenses despite the development of an effective borreliacidal antibody response.