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The monoclonal antibody LA7 was raised against the species-specific Borrelia burgdorferi lipoprotein P22 (= IPLA7), which induces antibody formation in patients with
Lyme arthritis. It is composed of 194 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 21.8 kDa. Its gene on the linear chromosome is 582 nucleotides in length. The aim of this study was to localize the protein P22 by immune electron microscopy. Immunolabeling of Borrelia burgdorferi with LA7 and an anti-mouse immunogold conjugate proved that P22 is an outer membrane protein. This finding was confirmed by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the outer envelope fraction, which contained 99% of the P22 proteins.