Elimination of Borrelia burgdorferi from vector ticks feeding on OspA-immunized mice

Erol Fikrig, Sam R. Telford, Stephen W Barthold, Fred S. Kantor, Andrew Spielman, Richard A. Flavell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Although recombinant outer surface protein A (OspA) of Borrelia burgdorferi protects mice against injected Lyme disease spirochetes, the mode of protection has not yet been explored. Indeed, the efficacy of vaccine-induced immunity against a realistic vector-mediated challenge remains unexplored. Accordingly, we determined whether this immunogen protects mice against spirochetes delivered by nymphal Ixodes dammini ticks. Following challenge by tick bite, no spirochetes could be cultured from immunized mice, and no characteristic histopathology was found. The spirochete was not detected in ticks that fed on immunized animals and was present in virtually all ticks that fed on nonimmunized mice. We conclude that OspA-immunized mice are protected from spirochetal infection, at least in part, because the spirochete is destroyed in the infecting tick.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5418-5421
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Ixodes dammini
  • Lyme disease
  • Spirochete
  • Vaccine development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Elimination of Borrelia burgdorferi from vector ticks feeding on OspA-immunized mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this