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P55, an immunogenic but nonprotective 55-kilodalton Borrelia burgdorferi protein in murine Lyme disease.

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Immunization of C3H mice with P55 (previously called S1), a 55-kDa Borrelia burgdorferi antigen that is immunogenic after infection, elicited a strong antibody response but did not protect mice against B. burgdorferi challenge. Mice immunized with a P55 fusion protein in complete Freund’s adjuvant developed anti-P55 antibodies, detectable at a titer of 1:10,000 by immunoblotting. To determine, if a protective response had been elicited, P55-vaccinated mice were fed upon by ticks infected with B. burgdorferi. The frequency of B. burgdorferi infection was similar in P55-immunized and control mice, and spirochetes were not destroyed within ticks that fed on P55-vaccinated mice. P55 is an immunogenic antigen that does not induce a protective response in the vertebrate or invertebrate host.

Infect Immun. 1996 Jan;64(1):363-5. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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