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Monoclonal antibodies specific for the outer surface protein A (OspA) of Borrelia burgdorferi prevent Lyme borreliosis in severe combined immunodeficiency (scid) mice.

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We have recently shown that viable Borrelia burgdorferi organisms induce a chronic infection associated with arthritis and carditis in severe combined immunodeficiency (scid) mice but not in immunocompetent mice. The
disease is similar to that found in patients suffering from
Lyme disease. We now show that B. burgdorferi-specific immune mouse sera as well as a monoclonal antibody to the spirochetal outer surface antigen A (31 kDa) but not monoclonal antibodies specific for the 41-kDa antigenic component of the periplasmic flagella are able to prevent (or mitigate) the development of the
disease in scid mice when passively transferred at the time of the bacterial inoculation. The identification of a B. burgdorferi-associated protective antigen suggests that the corresponding spirochetal protein should be tested as a vaccine against
Lyme disease.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 May;87(10):3768-72. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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