Scientists have developed a vaccine that can stop ticks from spreading Lyme disease in mice, which has the potential to reduce infections in high-risk areas.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is usually transmitted by tick bites and is rising in incidence.
The study, led by the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), and including the University of Guelph, Canada, Czech Academy of Sciences, and Nature Research Centre, Lithuania, modified harmless bacteria and gave it to mice as a vaccine.
When the mice were then bitten by ticks, the vaccine could change the natural composition of bacteria in the ticks, which protected the ticks from the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Although this approach doesn’t stop humans and animals themselves from getting the disease, it nonetheless prevents its spread by reducing the number of infected ticks.