Lyme disease effects nearly 20,000 individuals in America each year, the greatest number being along the North-eastern seaboard, and there is currently no vaccine for the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently developed an injection which protects against Lyme disease, as well as an additional serious bacterial tick born disease known as Anaplasmosis.
Lyme disease can begin with a rash or simple flu-like symptoms, but can progress to serious neurological, musculoskelatal and cardiac problems if not treated. Anaplasmosis is often characterized by anemia and rapid weight loss.
“We have shown that a single injection of sustained-release antibiotics can prevent both diseases in mice,” says Dr. Nordin Zeidner of the CDC. Previous preventative techniques involved oral consumption of doxycycline, which proved to only be 20-30% effective in mice. The injection, which is a “formulation of doxycycline hyclate that is programmed to release the drug over a 20 day period is 100% effective.”
The chemicals released in the injection are believed to have no serious side effects in humans (the composition has been used in humans in the past, but not to prevent lyme disease), but further research is necessary in finding to most appropriate time-frame and technique for administering the injection.
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Goodchild, Lucy. Zeidner, Nordin. Journal of Microbiology news release. March 2008.