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Med Microbiol Immunol. 1995 Aug;184(2):73-80.

Sequence analysis of ospA genes shows homogeneity within Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia afzelii strains but reveals major subgroups within the Borrelia garinii species.

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Abteilung Serologie, Max-von-Pettenkofer-Institut für Hygiene und Medizinische Mikrobiologie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany.


The genes coding for the outer surface protein A (OspA) of 19 different Borrelia burgdorferi strains belonging to the seven OspA-serotypes 1-7, previously described [Wilske et al. (1993) J Clin Microbiol, 31: 340-350], have been investigated. B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains were chosen from various biological sources (ticks, human skin and cerebrospinal fluid) as well as different geographical origins (Germany, Slovenia, Austria, United States). The open reading frames of all ospA genes consist of 819-825 nucleotides corresponding to proteins of approximately 30 kDa. The ospA sequences obtained in this study and previous published studies were compared with the results from OspA serotyping with monoclonal antibodies. The classification into the seven OspA serotypes could be confirmed on a genetic basis (ospA genotypes 1-7) for all strains analyzed so far (n = 29). In addition, one strain without OspA expression could be assigned to ospA genotype 2. Genetic stability could be proven for the ospA gene of B. burgdorferi strain PWudI after inocculation and reisolation from a gerbil. However, we found evidence for intragenic recombination by cluster analysis of ospA sequence data. Accordance of ospA genotype 1 strains with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and ospA genotype 2 strains with B. afzelii, as well as the ospA genotype strains 3-7 with B. garinii was confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of MluI-digested genomic DNA. B. garinii is not only more heterogeneous in respect to the OspA-encoding genes, but shows moreover major subgroups formed by genotypes 4, 5 and 6 and genotypes 3 and 7, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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