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Pfizer, French firm to begin trial of lead Lyme disease vaccine

Duncansville, Pennsylvania — Researchers conduct first-of-its-kind experiments in the United States and Europe. We are looking for as many volunteers as possible A vaccine against Lyme disease could be developed within 20 years. This is in hopes of improving the fight against tick-borne threats.

Lyme disease is a growing problem. Tick ​​habitats are expanding due to rising numbers of infected people and a warming climate. Vaccines for dogs have been available for some time, but the only Lyme vaccine for humans was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2002 due to lack of demand, forcing people to resort to bug spray and tick checks. no longer get

Now Pfizer and French biotech Valneva avoid previous pitfalls in developing a new vaccine that protects both adults and her 5-year-old from the most common Lyme strain on two continents Aiming to be

"I don't think there was that perception of the severity of Lyme disease," said the person Pfizer's vaccine last affected. 's chief Annalisa Anderson told the Associated Press.

Robert Terwilliger, an avid hunter and hiker, was first in line Friday when the survey began in central Pennsylvania. He is tired of seeing so many of his friends contract Lyme disease and wondering if the next tick bite will make him sick. , when you're sitting in a grove of trees hunting and you feel something crawling around," said Terwilliger, 60, of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania. "You have to be very careful."

The exact frequency of Lyme disease is not clear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites insurance records that suggest 476,000 people in the United States receive treatment for Lyme disease each year. Pfizer's Anderson puts the annual number of infections in Europe at about 130,000.

Black-legged ticks, also called deer ticks, carry the bacteria that cause Lyme. Infections initially cause fatigue, fever, and joint pain. Often, but not always, the first sign is a red, rounded bullseye rash.

Early antibiotic treatment is important, but it can be difficult to tell if you have been bitten by a tick as small as a needle. Unprocessed lime can cause severe arthritis and damage the heart and nervous system. Some people continue to have symptoms after treatment.

Most vaccines against other diseases become effective after people have been exposed to the bacteria. The Lyme vaccine offers another strategy - it works a step forward to block tick bites from transmitting infection.

How. It targets an “outer surface protein” of Lyme bacteria called OspA present in the gut of ticks. It is estimated that the tick has to eat someone for about 36 hours before the bacterium spreads to the victim. You are given time to attack.

In a small early-stage study, Pfizer and Varneva reported good immune responses with no safety issues. test if there is The companies aim to employ at least 6,000 people in the northeastern United States and Lyme-prone regions including Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

They will give him three doses of either vaccine or placebo between now and next spring tick season. After a year, they will receive one booster dose.

"We are really looking at seasonal vaccines," Anderson said. Therefore, people have higher antibody levels when ticks are most active.

Volunteers said he should be at high risk because at the young age of five he spends a lot of time in tick-infested areas, including hikers, campers and hunters. Dr. Kiwitz said. Research facility at the Altoona Clinical Research Center in Duncansville, Pennsylvania.

In his own practice, Kibbitz said, "Not a day goes by that someone is worried about or might have Lyme disease."

This new candidate differs from his previous Lyme vaccine, which GlaxoSmithKline pulled from the market in 2002 amid controversy and sluggish sales. With an efficacy of about 75%, the old lime shot received lukewarm support from vaccine experts, was untested in children, and garnered unsubstantiated reports of joint-related side effects.

} The new Pfizer-Varneva vaccine also targets the OspA protein, but is designed somewhat differently than its predecessor, targeting not just one, but six Lyme strains in the US and Europe.

The Pfizer study, which he plans to span two tick seasons to get answers, isn't the only study on new ways to prevent Lyme disease. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts are working on an antibody shot that fights off-the-shelf lime, an alternative to vaccines. In animal studies, it has been shown to cause skin reactions that make it difficult for the tick to stick and feed.

Ultimately, "we hope to have a vaccine that prevents tick bites," Wormser said, because of the vector. 

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