Rodent Remedy: Vaccine Kibble

After claims of severe side effects derailed a human vaccine for Lyme disease in the 1990s, researchers set their sights on a vaccine developed for mice.

Lyme-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is primarily carried by ticks—some 50% of which acquire bacteria after biting infected white-footed mice.

Maria Gomes-Solecki from the University of Tennessee worked with Purina to concoct a “vaccine kibble” which she deployed in a series of fields. In aggregate, the data showed declining rates of Borrelia-infected ticks over 5 years. Targeting mice could help, experts say, but truly curbing the Lyme epidemic requires addressing other animal carriers and developing stronger tick control protocols.

Scientific American

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