New tool emerging in fight against Lyme disease — Medical Xpress

Host-seeking blacklegged tick. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CC0

As black-legged ticks crawl their way across Michigan, scientists hope a new vaccine in development could make their presence less menacing.

The vaccine would rob the ticks of a trait that makes them exceptional vectors for Lyme disease: the ability to bite and suck blood without notice, latching on long enough to pass bacteria to their host human.

“Have you ever heard of anybody swatting at a tick bite?” said Dr. Erol Fikrig, an infectious disease researcher and professor at the Yale School of Medicine who is working on the vaccine development. “No. A tick is silent. It feeds on you for a long period of time.”

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