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The association of the
Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, with cultured human endothelial cells was investigated. Attachment was time and temperature dependent, with optimal adherence occurring after 4 h of incubation at 37 degrees C. Pretreatment of borreliae with heat, immune human serum, or monoclonal antibodies directed against outer surface protein B (OspB) reduced the attachment of organisms to host cell monolayers. These results suggest that the adherence of B. burgdorferi may be mediated, at least in part, by borrelial surface proteins.