Lyme-preventing mRNA Vaccine Shows Promise

A lab-stage vaccine has prevented the spread of Lyme disease in guinea pigs, giving researchers hope that there may soon be options for curbing the most common vector-borne disease in the US, Smithsonian Magazine reports. 

The vaccine, developed by Yale University researchers using mRNA technology, may also combat other tick-borne diseases, a study published in Science Translational Medicine finds.

  • Instead of triggering an immune response to Lyme-causing bacteria, the vaccine trains the skin to respond to tick saliva, reports the New Scientist
  • An itchy rash develops—alerting the host to the tick’s presence, limiting the tick’s feeding time, and reducing transmission of disease.

The Quote: “There are multiple tick-borne diseases, and this approach potentially offers more broad-based protection than a vaccine that targets a specific pathogen,” says study author Erol Fikrig.

Thanks for the tip, Xiaodong Cai!

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