The versatile roles of antibodies in Borrelia infections

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2005 May;3(5):411-20. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1149.


Antibodies are the primary weapons of the mammalian immune system that are used against the tick-borne borreliae, the causative agents of relapsing fever and Lyme disease worldwide. Some antibody responses have 'traditional' functions, whereas others are more versatile and have novel functions and modes of action. At a time when the multiple functions of antibodies are being increasingly recognized and passive immunization is being revived as therapy for infectious and other diseases, the versatile nature of the antibody response to the borreliae fits well with this antibody renaissance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Borrelia Infections / immunology*
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / immunology
  • Ornithodoros
  • Phagocytes / immunology
  • Relapsing Fever / immunology
  • Ticks


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Complement System Proteins