Lyme Disease Treatment Guidelines Seeking Comments

Lyme disease vaccine candidate VLA15 is a multivalent, protein subunit vaccine targeting the outer surface protein A of Borrelia

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New draft guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease were issued today. 

The Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American Academy of Rheumatology are now accepting public comments through August 10, 2019. 

Those wishing to provide feedback can view the draft guidelines and submit their comments on the IDSA website. 

Feedback gathered during the public comment period will be taken into consideration by the guidelines panel, comprised of experts from 16 medical specialties, as well as patients, before the document is approved. 

The draft guidelines are based on a systematic review of current evidence surrounding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease and are written with the goals of improving patient outcomes and ensuring patient safety. 

One of the proposed recommendations is that antibiotics should be administered within 72 hours after removal of a tick bite. 

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.   

Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.  Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods.

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Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. If left untreated, an infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

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The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well, says the CDC.

A May 2019 study in Pennsylvania reported very concerning the information regarding the spreading of Lyme disease. 

The initial results from 10,998 completed tests indicated 32 percent of tested-ticks in the Pennsylvania area were infected with the disease.

Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. 

Recently, a French biotech company announced positive progress of its ongoing Phase 2 study for its Lyme disease vaccine candidate, VLA15. 

An independent Data Safety Monitoring Board has cleared 2 dosage levels of VLA15 to be used for clinical development. 

This is good news since VLA15 is currently the only active vaccine program in clinical development against Lyme disease. 

VLA15 is a multivalent, protein subunit vaccine which targets the outer surface protein A (OspA) of Borrelia designed for prophylactic, active immunization against Lyme disease, aiming for protection against the majority of human pathogenic Borrelia species. 

For more information about the draft guidelines, visit the IDSA website.