Approaches toward the directed design of a vaccine against Borrelia burgdorferi

J Infect Dis. 2002 Feb 15;185 Suppl 1:S46-51. doi: 10.1086/338463.


The overall efficacy of a recombinant vaccine for Lyme disease that is effective worldwide will depend upon the selection of one or more immunoprotective target(s) and the frequency of genetic variation, which can alter the antigenicity of the immunoprotective epitopes of the target proteins. Careful delineation of these protective epitopes on target antigens is essential for the development of vaccine candidates as well as for understanding the limitations of such vaccines. Structural models of these targets will provide critical information about conformation and specific residue surface accessibility for defining protective epitopes. Co-crystal structures with Fab fragments of protective antibodies will further delineate critical antigen surfaces. Population genetics will provide vital information on the heterogeneity of these proteins. Detailed epitope mapping will provide the information needed for the bioengineering of antigens needed to expand the specificity of a candidate vaccine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / chemistry*
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / immunology*
  • Drug Design*
  • Lipoproteins*
  • Lyme Disease / prevention & control*
  • Lyme Disease Vaccines / chemistry*
  • Lyme Disease Vaccines / genetics
  • Lyme Disease Vaccines / immunology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lyme Disease Vaccines
  • OspA protein