Thursday, August 18, 2011

5 Abstract: A tick mannose-binding lectin inhibitor interferes with the vertebrate complement cascade

A tick mannose-binding lectin inhibitor interferes with the vertebrate complement cascade to enhance transmission of the lyme disease agent. Schuijt TJ, Coumou J, Narasimhan S, Dai J, Deponte K, Wouters D, Brouwer M, Oei A, Roelofs JJ, van Dam AP, van der Poll T, Van't Veer C, Hovius JW, Fikrig E. Cell Host Microbe. 2011 Aug 18;10(2):136-46.



It occurs to me that a lot of the concern from the Lyme patient community over the use of vaccines could be eliminated if R & D shied away from human vaccine development.

Mice and other animals in the woods could ingest oral vaccines which could prevent the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi to reservoir hosts on which ticks feed. Not only that, but this could have an extended effect of helping pets, too.

I think creating oral vaccines to block transmission of Bb to animals and pets is a good idea.


  1. I think baited oral vaccines are a great idea. They may not be the whole answer when it comes to Lyme disease, but some practical steps in helping to reduce the incidence of Lyme disease are urgently needed.

    Although it's not a vector-borne disease, rabies has been addressed at least in part in this way -- with good results as far as I'm able to tell -- and could therefore be a useful model. I'll start with a reference to baited oral vaccines when it comes to Lyme disease and then show some snippets from published articles related to the control of rabies through the use of oral vaccine for wildlife.

    Vaccine. 2011 Aug 2. [Epub ahead of print]

    Development of a baited oral vaccine for use in reservoir-targeted strategies against Lyme disease.

    Bhattacharya D, Bensaci M, Luker KE, Luker G, Wisdom S, Telford SR, Hu LT.

    Program in Molecular Microbiology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

    Lyme disease is a major human health problem which continues to increase in incidence and geographic distribution. As a vector-borne zoonotic disease, Lyme disease may be amenable to reservoir targeted strategies for control.
    In summary, a VV based OspA vaccine is stable in an oral bait preparation and provides protection against infection for both the natural reservoir and the tick vector of Lyme disease.

    Development of a reservoir targeted vaccine for Lyme disease

    We are currently seeking Catalyst award funds to allow us to construct and test a new version of the vaccine using an attenuated strain of Vaccinia virus that has previously been used for the oral delivery of rabies vaccine to raccoons and foxes. This strain is has greatly reduced capacity for infecting humans, yet maintains good infectivity for animals including mice. It has an excellent safety record with over 80 million doses of the rabies vaccine delivered.

    (to be continued ...)

  2. (...continued)

    Here are some articles from 1998 demonstrating the progress that has been made with regard to rabies prevention in North America. Work is ongoing and refinements continue to be made.

    Pharmacoeconomics. 1998 Oct;14(4):365-83.

    A review of the economics of the prevention and control of rabies. Part 1: Global impact and rabies in humans.

    Meltzer MI, Rupprecht CE.

    National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

    The existing literature on the economics of rabies and its control can be characterised as a poorly documented set of cost estimates with insufficient information to allow replication of the analyses.

    Dev Biol (Basel). 2004;119:173-84.

    Oral vaccination of wildlife against rabies: opportunities and challenges in prevention and control.

    Rupprecht CE, Hanlon CA, Slate D.

    Newer approaches in biotechnology may be envisaged some day for eventual extension to bats, as well as more widespread application to global canine rabies remediation in developing countries.

    Dev Biol (Basel). 2006;125:103-11.

    Control and prevention of rabies in animals: paradigm shifts.

    Rupprecht CE, Hanlon CA, Slate D.

    Although great progress has been made during the past four decades in the induction of herd immunity among free-ranging carnivores via oral vaccination against rabies, similar novel solutions have not been readily applied to bat populations. Given these challenges, new paradigm shifts are eagerly anticipated as additional biotechnological applications (including contraceptives and anticoagulants) are developed to deal with domestic animals and wildlife.


    Dev Biol (Basel). 2008;131:95-121.

    Can rabies be eradicated?

    Rupprecht CE, Barrett J, Briggs D, Cliquet F, Fooks AR, Lumlertdacha B, Meslin FX, Müler T, Nel LH, Schneider C, Tordo N, Wandeler AI.

    Given the clear relevance of rabies in public health, agriculture, and conservation biology, substantive international progress must continue towards enhanced public awareness, human rabies prevention, wildlife rabies control, and canine rabies elimination, with renewed collaborative vigour.

    J Wildl Dis. 2011 Jul;47(3):593-602.

    Oral vaccination against raccoon rabies: landscape heterogeneity and timing of distribution influence wildlife contact rates with the ONRAB vaccine bait.

    Boyer JP, Canac-Marquis P, Guérin D, Mainguy J, Pelletier F.

    Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Demography and Conservation, Département de Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 Boulevard de l'Université, Sherbrooke, Québec J1K 2R1, Canada.

    Aerial distribution of oral vaccine baits is one of the available strategies for controlling the spread of infectious wildlife diseases. This technique has commonly been used to control rabies in wild carnivores and, together with other techniques, was used to immunize wild populations of raccoons (Procyon lotor) and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) after the detection of the first rabid raccoon in the province of Quebec, Canada, in 2006.
    Our study underlines the importance of taking into account landscape heterogeneity and timing of distribution when planning the distribution of vaccine baits to control rabies in raccoons.

  3. CO,

    I see that Blogger is acting up again. Although it's currently indicating that 4 comments have been left, I'm only able to see the 2 I posted earlier. That's a shame because I was hoping others had commented or that you had more to say. This is an observation rather than a complaint because I realize you have no control over software glitches.

  4. Rita,

    I just posted 3 comments from you and I did not post them sooner because I was called away from the keyboard before I could post the rest. I have not been online much today.

  5. CO,

    I was referring to this specific blog entry. Blogger's comment count was off by 2 for this entry alone -- as it was a few days ago in another one when you (as moderator) posted a comment I made about the Klempner recording. That seemed to sort itself out without any intervention on your part, and I'm hoping this does as well.


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