Borrelia burgdorferi, afzelii, garinii
Outer surface protein A
ospA sequence analysis
Outer surface protein A serotypes
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract 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 heterogenous 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. The latter group has not been described previously and is specifically recognized by an OspA-specific monoclonal antibody L32 1F7.
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