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Hope Is Offered For A Vaccine Against Lyme Disease

Ticks spread a bacterial infection known as Lyme disease. 1975 was when it was first recognized. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was spreading among a large number of children in the town of Lyme in Connecticut. It was found by researchers that the illness was being caused by tick bites.

Hope Is Offered For A Vaccine Against Lyme Disease

Black-legged ticks cause Lyme disease. A telltale sign of Lyme disease is a rash with fever and chills. This is present at the site of the tick bite and expands over the course of a few days.

Hope Is Offered For A Vaccine Against Lyme Disease

The center of the rash may fade and this creates a “bull’s eye.”

The bull’s eye rash is not seen on many people and they may have red spots instead. The rash is present in about 75% of people who have Lyme disease.

Researchers say that animal studies have shown promise that an experimental Lyme disease vaccine could protect against another tick-borne disease as well.

Guinea pigs were protected against infection by Borrelia burgdorferi. This is the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

The vaccine relies on the same mRNA tech that is used by some Covid vaccines.

The immune system is not triggered by the vaccine to attack the bacteria. The Yale University team explained that the skin is prompted to respond quickly to certain proteins that are present in tick saliva. The amount of time that a tick has to infect the host is reduced by this.

Dr. Erol Fikrig said that the ability to recognize a tick bite is enhanced by the vaccine and this partially turns a tick bite into a mosquito bite. He is a professor of medicine at Yale.

He explained that you swat a mosquito when it is felt biting you. He said that there is redness and itch caused due to the vaccine so that a bite can be recognized and therefore, you can pull the tick off before it can transmit the bacteria.

Those that were vaccinated, compared to the guinea pigs that weren’t, developed a redness at the site of the tick bite. As long as the tick was removed as soon as redness appeared, none of the vaccinated guinea pigs were infected.

The findings showed that almost 50% of the unvaccinated pigs were infected when the ticks were not removed immediately.

Compared to 60% of unvaccinated guinea pigs, when a single infected tick was attached to vaccinated guinea pigs and not removed, not a single one of them was infected.

According to the report published on Nov. 17, the protection was not as strong when 3 ticks remained attached to the vaccinated guinea pigs.

It was also found by researchers that when compared to the ticks attached on vaccinated guinea pigs, the ones that were attached to the unvaccinated ones were able to feed more aggressively and were able to dislodge more quickly.

In the United States, over 40,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported every year. The researchers noted that the actual number of infections could be 10 times more.

They added that in many areas of the United States, other tick-borne diseases have also spread.

Fikrig said that compared to a vaccine that targets a specific pathogen, this approach offers more broad-based protection as there are multiple diseases caused by ticks.

He added that these vaccines could also be used along with other vaccines that are more traditional and pathogen-based. This could help increase the efficacy.

Fikrig said that more research is required to find ways in which the proteins in saliva can prevent infection. He said that in order to assess the vaccine’s effectiveness in people, human trials are required.

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