Lyme disease, scientifically identified as the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferiis a widespread disease, especially in Pennsylvania. 2019 CDC Findings placed Pa. as the state with the most confirmed Lyme disease cases in the nation – 8,998 cases in 2019, of which 6,763 were confirmed and 2,235 probable.
Vaccine research has been ongoing for more than two decades. The first Lyme vaccine, LYMErix, was launched in 1998 before being discontinued in 2002 for “insufficient consumer demand,” according to the CDC.
Research has continued since, but no new vaccine has been announced. However, according to the CDC, Valneva and Pfizer are developing a candidate Lyme disease vaccine, VLA15, which is currently in phase 2 human trials.
According to Valneva website, two phase 2 clinical trials indicate success in the form of high levels of antibody resistance. Despite transitioning to Phase 2, these VLA15 clinical trials are not expected to be fully completed until April 2022, June 2023, or June 2026, according to current VLA15 studies. listed by the CDC.
Lyme disease vaccines can take several approaches to target the virus. The VLA15 vaccine targets an outer surface protein of the virus, BorreliaAccording to the CDC.
Recent Yale Research takes a different approach: targeting the tick (specifically, its salivary gland), not the pathogen it is carrying. Yale’s Lyme disease mRNA vaccine targets 19 different proteins in a tick bite, according to Yale Daily News.
The first studies of Yale’s mRNA Lyme disease vaccine were conducted in guinea pigs. Once vaccinated, guinea pigs have developed immune resistance to tick bites at the source, which draws attention to the inflamed bite and promotes rapid removal of the tick.
The main function of the vaccine proposed by Yale is to block the transmission of the virus carried by ticks. The research is now moving to human clinical studies.
Alternative treatment methods
Vaccination would eliminate the risk of developing Lyme, but it would not eliminate the current symptoms of Lyme patients.
Some non-traditional clinical studies are underway for current Lyme patients, such as the use meditation and yoga to reduce chronic lyme pain.
Alternative treatments for Lyme disease are widely used for diagnosed patients, often alongside the traditional method of antibiotics, according to LymeDisease.org. The website collects data directly from Lyme patients through a patient-run research project called MyLymeData.
According to MyLymeData findings, herbal protocols are used by 79% of respondents, with 68% reporting moderate or very effective health benefits from the diet.
In 2020, a Johns Hopkins study confirmed the efficacy of herbal treatments compared to the antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime. The study researched the ability of 14 herbal extracts to kill the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, eventually concluding that certain varieties and combinations of herbal extracts are more effective than antibiotics in destroying the bacteria.
A similar NIH Study published in 2020 lists the following extracts as effective against the bacteria: Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Juglans nigra (black walnut), Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed), Artemisia annual (sweet wormwood), Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s Claw), Cistus incanusand Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap).
Herbal treatments derive from ancient medicinal traditions, particularly traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, according to published research on the origins of drug therapy.
Lyme disease online advertising research the treatment warns against erroneously adopting a practice that is not scientifically substantiated. Some methods remain controversial, but this latest research suggests that herbal medicine can reduce bacterial infection in Lyme patients.