Congress recently increased annual funding for research on Lyme and related tickborne diseases at NIH by $29 million to a total of $63 million. Most of this is discretionary, although $10 million of it is mandatory for research specific to Lyme disease. In addition to this historic increase, there are opportunities for funding and research support for studies on maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease and the impact of pregnancy on immune response. To stimulate researcher interest, NIH has issued a series of notices to encourage investigators to apply for grants and has asked stakeholder organizations for help getting the word out.
This section contains information from the three branches of the federal government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA) has been instrumental for decades in playing a leadership roll in shaping government actions and public policy concerning Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
The FY21 Tick-Borne Disease Research Program (TBDRP) Program Announcements managed by the Department of Defense (DOD) office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) are now posted to the grants.gov (search grants by CFDA Number 12.420) and on the CDMRP website.
Pfizer has received priority review for their vaccine, TicoVac, that protects against tick-borne encephalitis. This tick-borne virus can cause meningitis and trigger long-term neurological symptoms. If approved, the vaccine would potentially protect travelers as well as members of the US military that are deployed to regions where the virus is common, such as Europe and parts of Asia.
Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Chief Data Scientist and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health, Kristen Honey, recently gave an interview on HHS’s Lyme Innovation initiative with Nextgov.
As part of the LymeX public-private partnership between Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Cohen Foundation, HHS has published an RFI in the Federal Register, 2.11.21 that seeks information on the current state of the science and technology to accelerate “innovative solutions” for Lyme disease diagnosis. The RFI contains a series of questions it […]
According to the US Department of Agriculture, USDA, the most recent tick to come into the US is now found in 15 states. The information is published in the USDA’s National Haemaphysalis longicornis Situation Report, February 3, 2021. States are VA, WVA, PA, NC, NJ, TN, NY, KY, MD, CT DE, SC, AR, OH, RI. For […]
The Access to Care Subcommittee unanimously recommended the following Potential Action.
Working Group Access to Care Subcommittee Report, Potential Action 4: Recommend that CDC provide input to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, CSTE, that the Lyme disease surveillance case definition be revised such that it abandons the use of geographic parameters for Lyme disease.
Dr. Montgomery McFate, Professor, U.S. Naval War College, published, “The Myths of Lyme Disease: Separating Fact from Fiction for Military Personnel,” in Joint Force Quarterly, 100, Feb. 16, 2021. Dr. McFate addresses, in the well-cited article, many damaging myths regarding Lyme that have proliferated in the medical system since its discovery over 40 years ago. She describes how these myths harm military personnel, a population that is particularly at risk for exposure to Lyme disease.
The Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (TBDWG) was established by the 21st Century Cures Act to improve federal coordination of efforts related to tick-borne diseases. The TBDWG’s purpose is to review federal activities and research related to all tick-borne diseases and provide a summary of its findings and any recommendations regarding changes or improvements to such findings to the HHS Secretary and Congress every two years.
The Tick-Borne Disease Working Group 2020 Report to Congress is now available (Report). The Report was presented to the Secretary of Health & Human Services in December 2020 by the Working Group (WG). The Secretary sent the Report to the Energy & Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions […]