Borrelia burgdorferi Infection and Lyme Disease in North American Horses: A Consensus Statement, was published by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). This Consensus statement provides the veterinary community with up-to-date information on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of this clinically important animal disease. To date, equine veterinarians have relied heavily on published information on both human and canine Lyme disease in order to have a minimal understanding of Lyme disease in horses. The authors state that additional studies are needed to determine the morbidity in horses infected with B. burgdorferi and to identify the clinical signs specifically associated with Lyme disease in equines.
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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.
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.
Researchers, Eugene Merzon, et al. have published findings from a recent study examining correlations between the use of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and the lower likelihood of COVID‐19 infection in The FEBS Journal.
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.
In this newly published review, authors address the geographic distribution of the human-infecting Babesia spp., their phylogenetic relationship, and their tick vector worldwide. Authors found that the number of human Babesiosis cases appearing in the literature has increased exponentially in the last 10 years, with the US leading the world in reported case numbers.
The use of botanical medicines in the fight against Babesia duncani is explored in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology by Johns Hopins’ Yumin Zhang and a research team.
Valneva and Pfizer announced that they have initiated a Phase 2 study for their Lyme disease vaccine candidate. This new study builds on previous studies, including new dose regimens as well as being the first clinical study to include children between the ages 5-17 years.
A randomized research study sponsored by Washington University School of Medicine seeks participants age 30 and older, who have tested positive for COVID-19, and are currently experiencing mild symptoms.
Dr. John Aucott, Director of The Lyme Disease Research Center, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, et al. published the article, “Long-haul COVID: heed the lessons from other infection-triggered illnesses” in The Lancet.