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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2013 Jun;20(6):892-9. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00758-12. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Evaluation of RevA, a fibronectin-binding protein of Borrelia burgdorferi, as a potential vaccine candidate for lyme disease.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, ND, USA.


Previous studies indicated that the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi expresses the RevA outer surface protein during mammalian infection. As an adhesin that promotes bacterial interaction with fibronectin, RevA appears to be a good target for preventive therapies. RevA proteins are highly conserved across all Lyme borreliae, and antibodies against RevA protein are cross-reactive among RevA proteins from diverse strains. Mice infected with B. burgdorferi mounted a rapid IgM response to RevA, followed by a strong IgG response that generally remained elevated for more than 12 months, suggesting continued exposure of RevA protein to the immune system. RevA antibodies were bactericidal in vitro. To evaluate the RevA antigen as a potential vaccine, mice were vaccinated with recombinant RevA and challenged with B. burgdorferi by inoculation with a needle or by a tick bite. Cultured tissues from all treatment groups were positive for B. burgdorferi. Vaccinated animals also appeared to have similar levels of B. burgdorferi DNA compared to nonvaccinated controls. Despite its antigenicity, surface expression, and the production of bactericidal antibodies against it, RevA does not protect against Borrelia burgdorferi infection in a mouse model. However, passive immunization with anti-RevA antibodies did prevent infection, suggesting the possible utility of RevA-based immunotherapeutics or vaccine.

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