Ticks spread Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the bacteria that causes Lyme disease in humans, horses, and pets. Ticks are not born with Borrelia burgdorferi but instead pick up the bacteria from feeding on already infected mice.
Scientists from CT, NY, PA, and TN have developed a new solution: an orally delivered vaccine targeting those mice. Non-infected mice cannot spread the infection to ticks.
The vaccine technology has been tested for over 10 years. According to a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the authors demonstrated the vaccine pellet technology reduced the number of infected ticks by 76% in field conditions. The study authors state:
“Implementation of such a long-term public health measure could substantially reduce the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease.”
This vaccine pellet approach could be complemented by an integrated tick management program that includes mouse and tick-reduction programs, such as those currently employed by pest-management professionals.