Animal and human antibodies reactive with the outer surface protein A and B of Borrelia burgdorferi are borreliacidal, in vitro, in the presence of complement

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1993 Jun;7(1):67-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.1993.tb00383.x.


Polyspecific antibodies present in ascitic fluids of mice (pMIAFs) immunized with whole Borrelia burgdorferi cells exerted borreliacidal activity in vitro when tested with complement and homologous antigen but not with heterologous B. hermsii. Similarly, monospecific mouse antibodies obtained by immunizing mice with purified preparations of outer surface protein A and B of B. burgdorferi were borreliacidal. On the contrary, mouse monospecific antibodies raised against the 41-kDa flagellar protein of B. burgdorferi did not kill borreliae in the presence of complement. A complement-mediated, in vitro, borreliacidal activity was observed in human sera from patients with Lyme disease when antibodies against OspA and/or OspB were detectable in sera by the Western blotting technique. The in vitro borreliacidal activity of human sera was evident after 14 h incubation with live B. burgdorferi spirochaetes and complement, whereas antibodies present in mouse immune ascitic fluids killed borreliae after 1 h incubation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / immunology*
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Mice


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Complement System Proteins