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Outer surface protein A (OspA) is the most promising candidate for a component vaccine against
Lyme disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Active cross-protection using a whole-cell vaccine prepared from strains belonging various OspA serotypes observed in Japan and worldwide was examined. No cross-protection was obtained by heterologous OspA-serotype vaccines. Since OspA is a highly variable protein expressed by Borrelia, this suggests that immunologically different OspA serotypes need to be combined for the development of an effective vaccine in Japan.