Lyme Disease Transmission Blocked by New Oral Bait Vaccine in White-Footed Mice

by lmatthews on March 3, 2014

white footed mouse oral bait vaccine lyme diseaseA new use of biotechnology could cut cases of Lyme disease by reducing infections in a key reservoir host of the disease. Field trials and laboratory tests carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have confirmed that a new biotechnology is able to prevent the transmission of Lyme disease by vaccinating white-footed mice.

The mice are lured into ingesting a vaccine against Lyme disease bacteria through use of an oral bait vaccine. This vaccine then prompts the mice to create antibodies against Lyme disease bacteria and can help reduce the number of ticks becoming infected by feeding on mice carrying the spirochaetes.

Attacking the Root of Infection

Instead of targeting humans by producing a new Lyme disease vaccine to replace the one removed from the market in 2003, the researchers have cut out the risk of consumer fear and gone straight for the main vector of the disease in the US. Vaccinating the mice resulted in the death of bacteria in mice already infected with Borrelia burgdorferi and stopped them from spreading the bacteria to ticks that could then go on to bite humans and other animals like dogs, cats, and horses.

76% Reduction in Lyme Disease Bacteria

The research was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, and the technology is being marketed by US BIOLOGIC now that field trials have been successful. The trials were carried out over a five-year period in test and control fields in New York.


What they found was that in areas where the oral bait vaccine was employed there was a 23% reduction in the rate of tick infection after the first year. By the fifth year, there was a 76% reduction in the tick infection rate, which presumably would dramatically reduce the risk of humans in these areas developing Lyme disease after a tick bite.

The authors of the paper concluded “Strategic implementation of the intervention reported in this study would ultimately protect human populations from contracting B. burgdorferi in geographic regions where Lyme disease risk is high.” By tying our fate to that of animals like white-footed mice we could make Lyme disease very rare indeed, instead of consistently seeing higher rates of infections across the US.

Other Applications for Oral Bait Vaccine for Lyme Disease

Excitingly, the biotechnology represents a method by which other diseases may also be controlled. By breaking the transmission cycle of a disease like Lyme, oral bait vaccines could address other zoonotic diseases like Rickettsia, Babesia, and even West Nile Virus. Zoonotic diseases account for some 75% of emerging infectious diseases, making the success of these trials even more significant.

US BIOLOGIC has applied for USDA licensure of this oral bait vaccine to control Lyme disease bacterial infection in white-footed mice.

Reference

Meirelles Richer L, Brisson D, Melo R, Ostfeld RS, Zeidner NS, Gomes-Solecki M. Reservoir Targeted Vaccine Against Borrelia burgdorferi: A New Strategy to Prevent Lyme Disease Transmission. J Infect Dis. 2014 Feb 12.

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Carol April 14, 2014 at 10:19 pm

The preditors for Tick are being removed from the Environment by technology.
There is probably a link between why Bee’s paracites are increasing.
Scientists involved with the military changed the way we think how
Computers and mobile phones really work.
Essentially the primitive animals are resistant to this radiation hence Tick, wood lice and cockroaches will out servive us.
These animals are resistant to microwave ?
In truth the aircraft industry and the nuclear industry know it’s low
Frequency. Are these white footed mice going to be cropped with arthritis
and be out bred because of the arthritis.

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