The outer surface protein A (OspA) lipoprotein of Borrelia burgdorferi, like cholera toxin and the heat-labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli, induces pro-inflammatory cytokines. This suggested that, like those toxins, OspA might be a mucosal immunogen and adjuvant. OspA, administered intranasally (i.n.) or intragastrically, induced strong serum IgG and salivary gland IgA responses. The serum IgG isotypes were indicative of a mixed T helper 1 and T helper 2 response, the latter being more pronounced. The N-terminal tripalmitoyl-S-glyceryl-cysteine (Pam3Cys) lipid moiety was absolutely required. OspA strongly enhanced the serum IgG and salivary gland IgA responses to jack bean urease co-administered by the i.n. route. OspA also enhanced the response to tetanus toxoid and induced limited protection against challenge. A synthetic lipopeptide also adjuvanted the response to urease by the i.n. route, but was ca 500-fold less potent on a molar basis than OspA. These results suggest that OspA or other lipoproteins may be useful in mucosal vaccines.