Detection of Multiple Reactive Protein Species by Immunoblotting After Recombinant Outer Surface Protein A Lyme Disease Vaccination

Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jul;31(1):42-7. doi: 10.1086/313920. Epub 2000 Jul 17.


Laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on the detection of an immune response to Borrelia burgdorferi. The serodiagnosis of B. burgdorferi infection is complex and may be further confounded by the immune response to the recombinant outer surface protein A (OspA) Lyme disease vaccine. To describe how the serological response to the recombinant OspA Lyme disease vaccine affects testing for antibody to B. burgdorferi, 240 specimens from 80 study subjects were obtained at defined intervals after recombinant OspA Lyme disease vaccination. Samples were tested by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), antibody capture enzyme immunoassay (EIA), and Western blotting (WB). After recombinant OspA Lyme disease vaccination, ELISA for 98% of the study subjects revealed reactivity. WB with use of OspA-containing B. burgdorferi strains as sources of antigens demonstrated multiple bands. Results of testing with a US Food and Drug Administration-approved WB kit showed homogeneous reactivity in the molecular weight region >30 kDa. Testing with OspA-free strains completely eliminated all vaccine-associated reactivity by both antibody capture EIA and WB.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting / methods
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Lipoproteins*
  • Lyme Disease / prevention & control
  • Lyme Disease Vaccines / immunology*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lyme Disease Vaccines
  • OspA protein
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Vaccines, Synthetic