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J Clin Microbiol. 1995 Jul;33(7):1867-9.

Expression of outer surface proteins A and C of Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes ricinus.

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Max von Pettenkofer Institute für Hygiene und Medizinische Mikrobiologie Universitt München, Germany.


A total of 472 field-collected Ixodes ricinus ticks from southern Germany were investigated by immunofluorescence for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi with a polyvalent rabbit immune serum and with monoclonal antibodies specific for outer surface proteins A and C (OspA and OspC, respectively). Borreliae were detected in 90 ticks with the polyvalent immunofluorescence assay. Infection rates in adults (females, 20.2%; males, 25.2%) were significantly higher than in nymphs (12.1%). OspA was detected in 77 ticks and OspC was detected in only 1 tick with the respective monoclonal antibodies. We therefore conclude that B. burgdorferi in unfed I. ricinus ticks usually expresses OspA and very rarely OspC.

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