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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2014 Oct;21(10):1426-36. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00383-14. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

Decorin binding proteins A and B in the serodiagnosis of Lyme disease in North America.

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  • 1Biopeptides Corp., East Setauket, New York, USA Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA.
  • 2Biopeptides Corp., East Setauket, New York, USA Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA


The laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease is based upon the detection of antibodies generated against Borrelia burgdorferi using a two-tier assay, typically consisting of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), followed by a Western blot. This system, put into place to address the nonspecificity associated with standalone first-tier assays, is insensitive for diagnosing early infection, when most people seek care. The use of bacterial lysates or whole-protein antigens as first-tier assay targets contributes to nonspecificity due, in part, to the presence of cross-reactive epitopes that are also found in other bacteria. This precludes their use as sensitive standalone assays. The use of peptides containing linear epitopes that are highly specific for B. burgdorferi offers a method for reducing this cross-reactivity. In the present study, we mapped the linear epitopes of the prominently expressed Borrelia adhesins decorin binding protein A (DbpA) and DbpB. We identified several epitopes in each protein that were highly conserved among North American strains of B. burgdorferi, and we screened peptides containing specific epitopes using serum panels from early and late Lyme disease patients. The individual peptides primarily detected IgM but not IgG, while the proteins efficiently detected both IgM and IgG. While no individual peptide demonstrated better utility for antibody detection than its respective whole protein, an assay containing a combination of a DbpA and a DbpB peptide adequately detected both IgM and IgG, accurately identifying 87.5% (84/96) of the early Lyme disease patients and 80.0% (16/20) of the late Lyme disease patients.

Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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