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The ability of vaccination with recombinant OspA from six seroprotective groups of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato to induce protection against infection with homologous and other Lyme spirochetes was examined in hamsters. Antisera generated against the OspA proteins of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto S-1-10 and C-1-11 (seroprotective groups 1 and 2, respectively), Borrelia afzelii BV1 (seroprotective group 4), and Borrelia garinii LV4 (seroprotective group 5) were able to kill the homologous spirochete in vitro but not other isolates. Surprisingly, antisera against B. afzelii PKo (seroprotective group 6) and B. burgdorferi sensu lato LV5 (seroprotective group 3) OspA proteins were unable to kill the homologous organism, although LV5 OspA antisera killed the heterologous isolates S-1-10 and LV4. In vivo vaccination studies supported the in vitro findings, confirming that vaccination with a single OspA protein does not provide complete protection against challenge with all Lyme disease spirochetes. In addition, OspA antibodies from some isolates may not protect against the homologous isolate. The induction of protective antibodies against other B. burgdorferi proteins may be necessary to insure a comprehensive Lyme disease vaccine.