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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Apr;17(4):564-71. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00518-09. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

A novel surface antigen of relapsing fever spirochetes can discriminate between relapsing fever and Lyme borreliosis.

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Laboratory of Zoonotic Pathogens, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, 903 South 4th St., Hamilton, MT 59840, USA.


In a previous immunoproteome analysis of Borrelia hermsii, candidate antigens that bound IgM antibodies from mice and patients infected with relapsing fever spirochetes were identified. One candidate that was identified is a hypothetical protein with a molecular mass of 57 kDa that we have designated Borrelia immunogenic protein A (BipA). This protein was further investigated as a potential diagnostic antigen for B. hermsii given that it is absent from the Borrelia burgdorferi genome. The bipA locus was amplified and sequenced from 39 isolates of B. hermsii that had been acquired from western North America. bipA was also expressed as a recombinant fusion protein. Serum samples from mice and patients infected with B. hermsii or B. burgdorferi were used to confirm the immunogenicity of the recombinant protein in patients infected with relapsing fever spirochetes. Lastly, in silico and experimental analysis indicated that BipA is a surface-exposed lipoprotein in B. hermsii. These findings enhance the capabilities of diagnosing infection with relapsing fever spirochetes.

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