The immunological events leading to the development of Lyme arthritis in humans are partially understood. Much of this information has been gained by studying the course of infection of naïve or vaccinated mice with Borrelia burgdorferi. However, the Borrelia-vaccination and -infection model has not been described using the organismal parameters commonly used in the widely accepted Borrelia-infection model. This is the first comparison between the Borrelia-infection and the Borrelia-vaccination and -infection models of arthritis. Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected C3H/HeN mice develop acute inflammation comparable to that of nonvaccinated, Borrelia-infected C3H/HeN mice. The duration and severity of arthritis in Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected mice was slightly increased compared with Borrelia-infected mice. Significantly, Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected C3H/HeN mice produce interleukin-17 (IL-17), while Borrelia-infected mice that had not been previously vaccinated do not. Neutralization of IL-17 in Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected C3H/HeN mice decreased the severity of arthritis, although not to the degree we observed previously in C57BL/6 mice. Collectively, these findings show that the Borrelia-vaccination and -infection model of Lyme arthritis incorporates elements of adaptive immunity that likely have relevance to human disease, but may not be observed in Borrelia-infected C3H/HeN mice.