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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 Jun;18(6):1034-7. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00063-11. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Rapid decline of OspC borreliacidal antibodies following treatment of patients with early Lyme disease.

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  • 1Microbiology Research Laboratory, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, 1300 Badger Street, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA.


We determined whether the levels of OspC borreliacidal antibodies declined following treatment of early Lyme disease and whether the OspC7 peptide enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) could be used as an alternative test for detecting the response. Serum samples were collected from 37 subjects at the onset of illness and 2 and 6 months after treatment with doxycycline. The ELISA detected IgM and IgG OspC7 antibodies within 2 months in 18 (49%) and 5 (14%) sera, respectively. Moreover, the sera from 12 subjects who tested positive by the ELISA also showed borreliacidal activity which was completely abrogated when the antibodies to OspC7 were removed. The borreliacidal activity decreased greater than 4-fold in each seropositive patient within 6 months after treatment, and the findings were accurately predicted by the IgM ELISA. The results confirmed that the ELISA was an effective alternative for detection of OspC borreliacidal antibodies produced during early Lyme disease in humans and also provided strong evidence that a significant decline in the response coincides with successful treatment of the illness.

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