While the world eagerly awaits a first vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, other teams continue to work to prevent other diseases. Located in Nantes, the Valneva laboratory recently announced that it had made good progress on a vaccine against Lyme disease.
According to a publication of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, Lyme disease (or Lyme borreliosis) is transmitted during a tick bite infected by a bacteria of the Spirochaetales family . However, be aware that not all ticks are infected and that the infection is often symptomless. On the other hand, it can cause a sometimes debilitating disease . These include long-lasting joint pain, partial paralysis of the limbs and sometimes even heart damage.
Lyme disease is spreading significantly every year. In December 2019, we mentioned the fact that the increase in cases was linked to increasingly mild winters. According to the sources, the disease affects approximately 250,000 people in Europe every year and 300,000 in the United States.
Thus, the need to develop a vaccine is becoming more and more pressing. However, as France 3 regions explains in a report published on July 29, 2020 (see end of article), the Valneva laboratory says it is on the right track. Based in Nantes, this establishment has already been working for a decade on the development of such a vaccine. Advances in research now make it possible to predict marketing from 2025 .
According to officials, the tests today concern humans since "everything has been proven in animals" . The tests have therefore passed to phase 2 and concern 800 people. The current goal is to reach phase 3, which will test the vaccine on a much larger population, namely 16,000 people. In addition, phase 2 is being conducted in both Europe and the United States. Indeed, bacteria are not identical on the two continents. We are talking about a regionality of the bacteria.
Finally, the directors of the project remind that while waiting for the arrival of a vaccine, the population must take care to adopt preventive measures . The goal is obviously to avoid ticks during walks. It is then advisable to wear a cap, use a tick repellent and carry out a visual check after the exit. It is especially a question of controlling certain parts of the body that ticks prefer such as the armpits, the head, the ears as well as the folds of the knees.