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U.S. Department of Defense Funds New Lyme Disease Vaccine Development


Baylor College researchers along with the Texas Children’s Hospital Vaccine Development Center have received an $ 860,000 grant from the Department of Defense to develop a recombinant protein vaccine for Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the military. of the US AND in the general US population.

“We have partnered with experts who have identified a novel vaccine antigen and we plan to accelerate its development as a new vaccine prototype from the bank to the clinic,” said Dr. María Elena Bottazzi, associate dean of the National School of Medicine. Baylor Tropical at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development.

Currently, there is no vaccine available against human Lyme disease, he added. And those candidates who have advanced in clinical trials have not developed a safe, effective or efficient response.

Lyme disease, transmitted by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, can infect at the site of the tick bite and then survive in the bloodstream and spread to the heart, joints, or brain, resulting in arthritis, neurological abnormalities, and carditis.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 300,000 Americans are infected annually, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, including New York State, and with warmer temperatures becoming the norm, cases of illness are have expanded geographically in the last 20 years.

Baylor researchers will partner on this work with Lyme disease experts from the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health.

A Baylor College Press Release reports that the team will develop a process to make the vaccine prototype and define the host immune responses triggered by the prototype vaccine under different regimens, including different doses, number of immunizations and type of immunostimulants, to identify the most efficient way to prevent bacterial colonization and manifestation of Lyme disease.

“Contributing to this work and applying our strict quality system practices will be crucial to achieving our long-term goal of developing a Lyme disease vaccine, and our vaccine center is well prepared to achieve the project’s goals,” he said. Dr. Wen-Hsiang Chen, assistant professor of tropical medicine at Baylor and director of vaccine quality control and analytical development at Texas Children’s.

RELATED: Potential treatment for Lyme disease kills bacteria that can cause persistent symptoms, study finds

“This program builds very well on our strengths in identifying Lyme disease bacterial proteins as vaccine candidates and investigating how injecting these vaccine candidates blocks the transmission of bacteria from ticks to humans and / or prevents the manifestations of the disease. disease, “said Dr. Yi-Pin Lin at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health.

“This study will significantly benefit the quality of life for US Service members, their families, and the general public around the world.”

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