Researchers Target Lyme Disease With mRNA Vaccine

Salon reports:

Approximately 500,000 Americans are now diagnosed with Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease, annually — double the number of cases reported in the 1990s. A group of researchers at Yale University is trying to revive a Lyme vaccine. By using messenger RNA — the same technology that Pfizer and Moderna used in their COVID-19 vaccines — the researchers were able to pack 19 different kinds of proteins found in tick saliva into a single vaccine.

Then, they administered those vaccines to guinea pigs and attached Lyme-carrying black-legged ticks to the animals. Once ticks attach to a host, they don’t let go until they’ve filled up on blood, which can take days. The researchers found that the vaccine, currently called 19ISP, may be effective in preventing not just Lyme disease in guinea pigs but other types of other tick-borne illnesses, too.

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