A Vaccine for Lyme Disease
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lyme disease

When I lived in Texas, I didn't worry much about Lyme disease. Yeah, well not anymore Bubba, you're now in tick country up there in Connecticut. Yep, my wife and I have to do a tick check even after working in the yard.

Lyme disease is the most common vector or insect borne disease in the US. Wouldn't it be nice if even after a tick bite, there's a way to stop you from getting sick? Well, that may be on the horizon. A treatment is already now in clinical trials.

Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of the blacklegged or deer tick. It transfers the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi if it stays attached for thirty-six to forty-eight hours so you must spot it early. The infection is usually treatable with antibiotics, but if left alone, the bacteria can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. It can cause severe headache and joint pain and swelling, heart palpitations, inflammation of the membranes around your brain, nerve pain and more.

To develop the new treatment, scientist Mark Klempner made hundreds of antibodies against a protein on the surface of Borrelia. He found that four of these antibodies killed it. When Klempner injected tick bitten mice with these antibodies, they did not get sick. He then made human versions which are now in clinical trials. If this works, a vaccine could be made so that people can make their own antibodies to protect them. And then a yearly shot would protect them from this nasty disease.

For more information…

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis With OspA-Specific Human Monoclonal Antibodies Protects Mice Against Tick Transmission of Lyme Disease Spirochetes
Tick transmission of Borrelia spirochetes to humans results in significant morbidity from Lyme disease worldwide. Serum concentrations of antibodies against outer surface protein A (OspA) were shown to correlate with protection from infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the primary cause of Lyme disease in the United States...

A novel drug to prevent Lyme disease is now being tested in humans
A Massachusetts doctor may have discovered a shot that will prevent Lyme disease in humans. The drug received federal approval from the Food and Drug Administration to be tested on people, and the Phase 1 clinical trial on 66 human subjects began earlier this year. If effective, the shot will be available in the Spring of 2023...

CDC Lyme Disease Fact Sheet
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system...