Recombinant Outer Surface Protein C ELISA for the Diagnosis of Early Lyme Disease

J Infect Dis. 1995 Mar;171(3):724-7. doi: 10.1093/infdis/171.3.724.


To compare the sensitivity of a new ELISA for IgM antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi that uses a recombinant outer surface protein C (rOspC) with those of a whole cell (WC) ELISA and an immunoblot assay for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease, serum specimens from 82 consecutive patients with physician-documented erythema migrans were analyzed. To compare the specificities of the three assays, serum specimens from 50 patients without a history of Lyme disease and from an area in which B. burgdorferi is not endemic were analyzed. The sensitivities of the WC ELISA, immunoblot assay, and IgM rOspC ELISA were 28%, 29%, and 46%, respectively, while the specificities were 100%, 100%, and 98%, respectively. The IgM rOspC ELISA is a convenient, readily automated, easily standardized serologic test that is significantly more sensitive for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease than either WC ELISA or immunoblot assay.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antigens, Bacterial*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood*
  • Infant
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis*
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • OspC protein
  • Recombinant Proteins