Taking the Bite Out of Ticks

Several vaccine strategies are being tested in an attempt to thwart the spread of tick-borne diseases, which are on the rise around the world.

Since mice carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, vaccinating the rodents could make ticks that bite them a lot less dangerous. Other scientists argue for more direct protection, with a human vaccine, but the question remains whether health officials and consumers will embrace one.

Scarce funding complicates all of these potential solutions, researchers say. The stereotype of Lyme and other US tick-borne diseases as primarily “yuppie” illnesses doesn’t help.

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