Design, construction and evaluation of multi-epitope antigens for diagnosis of Lyme disease
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Laboratory of Biomedical Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, 041 81 Kosice, Slovakia
Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 845 10 Bratislava, Slovakia
Ann Agric Environ Med 2017;24(4):696–701
Introduction and objective. Lyme disease (LD) is the most common vector-borne disease in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Diagnosis of LD is mainly based on clinical symptoms supported with serology (detection of anti-Borrelia antibodies) and is often misdiagnosed in areas of endemicity.

Material and methods:
In this study, the chimeric proteins (A/C-2, A/C-4 and A/C-7.1) consisting of B-cell epitopes of outer surface proteins OspA and OspC from Borrelia genospecies prevalent in Eastern Slovakia, were designed, over-expressed in E. coli, and used to detect specific anti-Borrelia antibodies in serologically characterized sera from patients with Lyme-like symptoms to evaluate their diagnostic potential.

Results showed that chimeras vary in their immuno-reactivity when tested with human sera. Compared with the results obtained from a two-tier test, the application of recombinant multi-epitope chimeric proteins as diagnosis antigens, produced fair agreement in the case of A/C-2 (0.20<κ<0.40) and good agreement (0.60<κ<0.80) when A/C-7.1 was used as capture antigen. Chimera A/C-4 were excluded from further study due to loss of reactivity with OspA-specific antibodies.

The combination of specific B-cell epitopes from OspA and OspC proteins may improve the diagnostic accuracy of serologic assays, but further studies are required to address this hypothesis.

Lucia Borszekova Pulzova   
University of veterinary medicine and pharmacy in Kosice, Komenskeho 73, 040 81 Kosice, Slovak Republic
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