Clinical and serologic evaluations of induced Borrelia burgdorferi infection in dogs

Am J Vet Res. 1988 Jun;49(6):752-7.


Adult Beagles were used to evaluate clinical signs and serologic response after inoculation with, or exposure to, Borrelia burgdorferi. An indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) and 2 ELISA were used to monitor the serologic response to B burgdorferi. Feeding infected ticks on 4 dogs (group 1) failed to cause seroconversion, and SC inoculation with 500 organisms caused minimal seroconversion in 2 of 4 dogs (group 2). At 56 days, approximately 3.01 X 10(8) B burgdorferi organisms were injected IV into group-1 dogs, and intraperitoneally into group-2 dogs. A control group of 4 dogs (group 3) had noninfected ticks feed on them, and then were given IV injection of physiologic saline solution. Increases in immunoglobulin M (IgM) titers were detected in 2 of 4 group-2 dogs approximately 7 days after the initial exposure. These titers returned to negligible values 20 days later. Immunoglobulin G titers increased approximately 10 days after the initial exposure and were mildly increased 56 days later, when dogs were exposed a second time. Both the IV and intraperitoneal injections (second exposures) resulted in increased IgM titers, which in both groups eventually returned to preexposure values after approximately 2 months. Immunoglobulin G titers increased within a week after the second exposure, and in 3 dogs monitored for 8 months, returned to negligible values after the 8-month period. One control dog had a slightly increased IgG titer 24 days after the second inoculation. The possibility of urine transmission is suggested. Clinical status, hemograms, serum biochemical profiles, ECG and results of urinalyses remained normal throughout the study.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Borrelia / immunology*
  • Borrelia / isolation & purification
  • Dog Diseases / immunology*
  • Dogs
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • Lyme Disease / immunology
  • Lyme Disease / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Ticks


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M