Posts Tagged Borrelia burgdorferi
Since May is Lyme disease Awareness Month it is fitting that just last week news of a clinical trial for a Lyme disease vaccine is going well was released. Lyme disease numbers have grown over the last several years here in the U.S and what was once considered a New England-based disease has, unfortunately, expanded its reach.
The Lyme disease vaccine is being developed and tested at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. The initial findings have been published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ website.
The vaccine triggers the body to create antibodies against Borrelia, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. While there are hundreds of Borrelia variations, this vaccine is said to fight against all those that are carried in the Northern hemisphere. In early trials consisted of 300 volunteers that each received three immunizations and one booster. The researchers are happy with the results so far and excited to see it advance to the next stages of testing. As Dr. Luft, a co-author of the paper explains:
“The results of the clinical trial conducted by Baxter are promising because the vaccine generated a potent human immune reaction, covered the complete range of Borrelia active in the Northern hemisphere, and produced no major side effects. We hope that a larger-scale, Phase 3 trial will demonstrate not only a strong immune response but true efficacy in a large population that illustrates protection against Lyme disease” (Source).
A common frustration with Lyme disease is that it isn’t easily diagnosed. While many people relate Lyme to the bulls-eye rash, many patients never develop it. Most of the symptoms related to Lyme are unfortunately the same as those related to the flu and arthritis, like joint paint, fever, fatigue, headaches and more. The longer a patient goes without a proper diagnosis, the worse some symptoms can become. A vaccine would be a great first step in being more proactive in fighting the battle against Lyme.
At Mosquito Squad, we help combat Lyme with our tick treatments for the yard. Our barrier spray knocks down any adult ticks it sprays during application. Further protection includes tick tubes that are placed in parts of the yard where mice are most active. Tick tubes hold treated cotton that the mice will bring back to their nests. Most ticks actually get their first blood meal from mice, so when they come in contact with the treated cotton, they’ll die. The number of tick tubes your yard needs will depend upon the size of your yard. Contact your local Mosquito Squad office to learn more about our tick control services.
If you live in an area that is known to have Lyme and you spend any time outdoors, make sure you do a thorough tick check after coming inside, including behind your knees and under your arms. These hard-to-reach places are tick favorites. If you do find an attached tick, make sure to remove it properly with tweezers and put it in a plastic bag if you can, that way you can have it tested if you do indeed start to show symptoms of Lyme.
We at Mosquito Squad are excited to see the news of the Lyme disease vaccine and will be keeping all of you posted!
A new study of a 5,300 year old iceman found genetic material leading them to believe that the man had Lyme disease.
The body of what is now known as Otzi was discovered encased in ice in the Alps back in 1991. Since then, scientists have worked to discover as much as they can about him, his environment and the world 5,300 years ago through his body. Looking to learn more about him genetically, a sample was taken from Otzi’s hip bone and was tested. Along with learning about his appearance, researchers learned a lot about his possible health problems including heart disease and lactose intolerance. They also found evidence of borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme in the hip bone sample. More information on the study can be found on the International Business Times website.
“This is the oldest evidence of Lyme disease and proof that this infection was already present 5,000 years ago,” says lead researcher Carsten Pusch.
Until know, the earliest record of Lyme disease dated back to 1883 and was first diagnosed in the US in Lyme, CT in the ‘70s. In the last study by the CDC, there were over 20,000 confirmed cases in the United States in 2010.
Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks when they take a blood meal. When it isn’t readily diagnosed, Lyme disease can be debilitating, causing severe joint pain and headaches. The most common symptoms are a bulls-eye shaped rash and fatigue. If you are ever bitten by a tick, make sure to place it in a ziplock bag in case it needs to be tested.
With this new information, the question remains: should it be Otzi disease?
At first glance, this picture sets a gorgeous scene of a beautiful white stallion grazing in a large pasture while deer assemble peacefully at the other end of the pasture. At second glance, it looks like the deer are staking out the horse.
I almost feel guilty that I’ve become so jaded about deer. I took this other picture of an adorable baby deer and unconsciously labeled it Bambi has ticks.
Unfortunately for deer, they are not only the feeding ground for ticks that could carry Lyme Disease but they also now have the bad rap of the animals that spread these disease carrying blood suckers into our yards to seek their next blood meal from the furry and non-furry warm-blooded family members that hang out in and around our house.
So do the deer give the Lyme disease to the ticks or do the ticks give the Lyme disease to the deer? It’s the ticks that carry the Lyme disease and they get it by feeding on mice at earlier stages of their lifespan. The ticks then feed on deer for their blood meal and while they’re there they mate and lay hundreds or thousands of eggs that the deer are an unwitting vehicle for.
Back to our pets. Yes, our pets can and do get Lyme Disease. In addition to Lyme Disease, your dog can also get Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis. And, unfortunately, according to dogsandticks.com our dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely than humans to come in contact with disease-carrying ticks because of their furry coats, proximity to the ground and love of exploration.
What are the symptoms to watch for? Also according to dogsandticks.com, here are the symptoms to look for.
To watch out for Canine Lyme Disease, watch for…
- Recurrent arthritis/lameness that lasts 3–4 days, sometimes accompanied by loss of appetite and depression
- Reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait
- Swollen joints that are warm to the touch
- Pain in the legs or throughout the body
- Fever, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes
To watch out for Canine Ehrlichiosis
- Runny eyes and nose
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swollen lymph glands
- Eye disease
- Retinal bleeding
- Spontaneous nose bleeds
- Bruising (petechiae) on gums and belly
- Swelling of limbs
If your dog is displaying these symptoms, how long should you wait before consulting a veterinarian? As an experienced dog owner, you probably know that some of these symptoms will come and go over time. But early treatment is the best way to prevent long-term ongoing residual sickness from these diseases. As always, use your best judgment as an owner.
Here is a great article about lyme disease, tick feeding and life cycles and other in-depth information.
The best way to protect you, your family, and your pets is to protect your yard from ticks. Mosquito Squad has both a barrier spray program that kills ticks in your yard as well as a tick tube program that attacks the source of the problem.
Read this article about Tick Tubes and how they work.
For more information, contact a Mosquito Squad location near you.