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In an effort to develop a safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of
Lyme borreliosis that addresses concerns raised over currently available vaccines, dogs were vaccinated twice with a multiantigenic preparation of Borrelia burgdorferi, strain N40, on days 0 and 20 of the experiment. About 70 and 154 days after the first immunization, dogs were challenged by exposing them to field-collected Ixodes scapularis ticks harboring B. burgdorferi. Vaccinated dogs were completely protected from infection by all criteria utilized to assess infection, developed high-titer anti-B. burgdorferi serum antibodies and growth inhibitory activity which persisted for over 200 days, and did not demonstrate any untoward consequence of vaccination. Serum absorption experiments revealed that borreliacidal and most likely protective antibodies in dogs receiving the multiantigenic preparation were not only elicited against the OspA antigen, but were also produced against additional yet to be determined targets on B. burgdorferi organisms. These data demonstrate that a multiantigenic vaccine is effective in preventing
Lyme disease transmitted via the natural vector.