the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, A French drug manufacturer Valneva has announced that they have successfully completed the first-ever human trial of a vaccine against Lyme disease. The vaccine, which is reportedly up to 96% effective, might soon be available in the UK and US at a “reasonably low” price.
Lyme Disease is one of the most common and widespread vector-borne illnesses in the Northern Hemisphere. After a tick bite, it typically kicks off through an expanding area of redness on the skin, though about one in four people don’t get a rash at all. If untreated, the disease can cause the loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, and to top it all off, the symptoms can resurface months or even years later. In some cases, the symptoms can re-emerge even after treatment, so it’s no wonder that Lyme Disease has become so feared.
According to the CDC, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.
Valneva’s vaccine candidate, VLA15, is currently the only active vaccine program in clinical development against Lyme disease. The program was closely followed by national and international health bodies, being granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2017.