Osp C NOT Effective

J Infect Dis. 1997 Feb;175(2):400-5.

Immunization with outer surface protein (Osp) A, but not OspC, provides cross-protection of mice challenged with North American isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi.

Probert WS, Crawford M, Cadiz RB, LeFebvre RB.


Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


The identification of antigens with the capacity to induce a broad spectrum of protective immunity is an important consideration in the design of a Lyme disease vaccine. In this study, the range of protection provided by outer surface protein (Osp) A or OspC vaccination was compared. Mice actively immunized with OspA or OspC were challenged with 3 North American isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi. OspA-immunized mice were fully protected from infection with each of the isolates, whereas mice immunized with OspC were protected from infection with the homologous isolate but not with 2 heterologous isolates. Sequence analysis revealed that the ospA genes from these 3 isolates were >99% homologous, whereas the ospC genes shared only 81%-85% homology. Western blot analysis suggested antigenic heterogeneity associated with OspC but not OspA. These results indicate that genetic and antigenic heterogeneity may limit the usefulness of OspC as a vaccine constituent.

PMID: 9203661 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text