Vaccine Info

Lyme PrEP Antibody Treatment

Authored by
Last reviewed
May 12, 2022
Fact checked by
Robert Carlson, MD

Lyme PrEP Antibody Treatment 2022

Lyme PrEP uses a single human antibody, or blood protein, to kill the bacteria in the tick’s gut while the tick drinks its victim’s blood before the bacteria can get into the human host. The testing pre-exposure prophylaxis delivers a monoclonal antibody to provide immediate immunity against Lyme disease.

A panel of anti-OspA human mAbs (HuMAbs) as potential prophylaxis for Lyme disease was developed. In particular, HuMAb 2217 was shown to be borreliacidal (EC50 < 1 nM) against B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii, the three main genospecies endemic in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In addition, when passively administered to mice before challenge with B. burgdorferi–infected Ixodes ticks, HuMAb 2217 completely prevented transmission after a single dose of 10 mg/kg.

One challenge to developing 2217 for Lyme disease prevention is to ensure that the antibody sustains a protective plasma concentration for the entire tick season.

HuMab 2217 was modified (HuMab 2217LS) to successfully double its half-life, which could provide sufficient protection during the Lyme disease season.

Lyme PrEP Antibody Treatment Indication

Lyme PrEP would be indicated for those populations living in areas where black-legged or deer ticks are found. It prevents infection by delivering a single human anti-Lyme antibody, or blood protein, directly to a person rather than triggering their immune system to make many antibodies as vaccines do. If a person’s blood contains the correct antibody against the bacteria, the antibody can kill Borrelia in the tick’s gut before the bacteria has a chance to travel to the person.

Lyme disease in humans is characterized by erythema migrans (EM), fever; fatigue; musculoskeletal pain; and the potential for neurological, cardiac, or joint manifestations. The CDC has estimated that over 476,000 Americans are diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease each year.

Lyme PrEP Antibody Treatment Dosage

Phase 1 trial indicates that a single shot will give protection for the necessary amount of time but will be confirmed during the later phases of the clinical trials.

Lyme PrEP Antibody Treatment Side Effects

Unlike a vaccine, which induces antibodies that may not contribute to protection but can cause side effects, the Lyme PrEP approach uses a single, defined antibody, thus reducing the risk of side effects.

Lyme PrEP Antibody Treatment News 2020 - 2022

May 5, 2022 - A Phase I clinical trial of a preventive Lyme disease shot developed by MassBiologics of UMass Chan Medical School is nearing completion, and the subsequent trial phase may begin as soon as next spring, according to Mark Klempner, MD, professor of medicine and former executive vice chancellor for MassBiologics.

March 11, 2021 - Video: Preventive shot for Lyme disease, now in a clinical trial, explained.

June 4, 2020 - A Lyme disease vaccine doesn’t exist, but a yearly antibody shot shows promise at preventing infection.

Lyme PrEP Antibody Treatment Clinical Trial

LymePrEP Phase 1 clinical trial. The trial title is First Clinical Study of the Safety and Blood Levels of a Human Monoclonal Antibody (2217LS) Against Lyme Disease Bacteria in Healthy People.  “The goals for the Phase I clinical trial are to test for the safety of Lyme PrEP and to determine how long it lasts in the bloodstream in humans. During the Phase I trial, 48 volunteers who had never been exposed to Lyme disease participated in the trial in Nebraska, where the disease is not endemic. The Phase I trial will end in August.

The Phase II-III clinical trial is under development and is anticipated to begin in Spring 2023.