Investigating Lymes Disease Symptoms
and Current Vaccines and Possible Future
Ideas to Develop a New Vaccine.
By: Nina M. Holz
Some Basic Background Information
Regarding Ticks and Lymes Disease
The tick that passes enables animals to contract Lymes Disease is
called: Ixodes scapularis.
The ticks generally feed on a wide variety of small mammals, birds,
and reptiles, but prefer to feed on white-footed mice (Peromyscus
leucopus), which are the important reservoir of infection in nature.
Adults prefer to feed and mate on white-tailed deer .
The infection is a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. The ticks usually
get infected from feeding on a infected host.
Not all humans that get bite by ticks get Lymes diesease
Only ticks that are infected with the bacteria can give Lymes to
This is generally after a prolonged amount of time feeding on the
human where they can also get Lymes disease
Internal Anatomy of a Tick
Shown to the left is
the internal anatomy
of a tick. The picture
shows the major areas
involved in feeding
and reproducing in
Early Onset Symptoms of
Within 1-4 weeks of being bitten by an
infected tick, most people will experience
some symptoms of Lyme disease.
A circular, expanding rash (called erythema
migrans) at the site of the bite develops in
about 70%-80% of cases.
Some people report flu-like symptoms at this
stage, including fever, chills, headaches,
fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and
muscle aches.” (WebMD)
Mid-Stage Onset Symptoms
of Lymes Disease
If the disease is not detected and treated in its
early stages, it can extend to more areas of the
body, affecting the joints, heart, and nervous
system (about 1-4 months after the initial bite).
Additional rashes may occur, and there may be
intermittent periods of pain and weakness in the
arms or legs.
Facial-muscle paralysis (Bell's palsy), headaches,
and poor memory are other symptoms at this
stage, along with a rapid heartbeat and some
loss of control of facial muscles.” (WebMD)
Late-Stage Onset Symptoms
of Lymes Disease
This is the most serious stage of the disease,
when treatment was either not successful or
never started (usually occurring many months
after the initial bite).
Joint inflammation (arthritis), typically in the
knees, becomes apparent, and may become
The nervous system can develop abnormal
sensation because of disease of peripheral
nerves (peripheral neuropathy), and confusion.
Heart problems are less common, but can
include inflammation of the heart muscle.”
Current Treatments for
Most Lyme disease is curable with antibiotics,
particularly when the infection is diagnosed and
Doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime are the
drugs of choice most of the time for early illness.
Later stages might require longer-term, intravenous
antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone.” (WebMD)
Vaccines made for Lymes
Currently, there is no human vaccine for Lyme
The one that did exist -- LYMErix -- is no longer
Originally approved by the FDA in 1998 to help
prevent the disease, the vaccine was pulled from
the market by the manufacturer in 2002 due to
There was concern that the vaccine could trigger
arthritis problems, although the FDA never
found evidence that the vaccine was dangerous.”
Possible Ideas for a Future
Vaccine for Lymes Disease
Since the Salp15 protein is the protein that enables
the bacteria to enter the host initially undetected,
learning more about the protein anatomy and
morphology would be beneficial.
If there is some way to possibly degrade the protein
so that the bacteria is exposed and becomes
vulnerable, I think this would allow the host’s body
to fight off the bacteria faster and more efficiently
with hopefully less damage to the body.