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Novel procedures for the use of peptides as antibody-capture reagents in the ELISA format have been investigated. Epitope sequences from known immunodominant antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi were selected by screening peptide libraries with sera from patients with
Lyme disease. Several epitope peptides were synthesized and immobilized, separately, on the ELISA plate as haptens on bovine serum albumin. Based on a comparative analysis of serum samples, it appears that peptide antigens can be used as effectively as a whole cell lysate to discriminate between
Lyme disease and non-
Lyme disease sera, thus avoiding dependence on bacterial sonicates which vary from passage to passage. Further improvements in epitope design for enhancement of accuracy in serodiagnosis are discussed.