How can Lyme disease be prevented and controlled?

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States, with the majority of cases occurring in the Northeast. It has been three decades since the agent of the disease, the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, and the ticks that vector it were identified. However, the number of Lyme disease cases have steadily increased.

In a new article appearing in the forthcoming issuue of the called "What Do We Need to Know About Disease Ecology to Prevent Lyme Disease in the Northeastern United States?" authors from Colorado State University and the Centers for Disease Control assess the potential reasons for the continued lack of success in prevention and control of Lyme disease in the northeastern United States, and they identify conceptual areas where additional knowledge could be used to improve Lyme disease prevention and control strategies.

Some of these areas include: 1) identifying critical host infestation rates required to maintain enzootic transmission of B. burgdorferi, 2) understanding how and impacts acarological risk of exposure to B. burgdorferi and the ability of interventions to reduce risk, 3) quantifying the epidemiological outcomes of interventions focusing on ticks or vertebrate reservoirs, and 4) refining knowledge of how human behavior influences Lyme disease risk and identifying barriers to the adoption of personal protective measures and environmental tick management.

The article briefly summarizes existing prevention and control strategies and tools aimed at reducing human exposure to vector ticks and B. burgdorferi, and highlights conceptual areas where additional studies on the enzootic transmission cycle or the human-tick interface are needed to fill in the preventing the development of novel, more effective prevention strategies and tools or the implementation of existing ones.

Because the likelihood of human exposure to the tick and the pathogen both can be influenced by human behavior, the authors focus not only on the density of infected ticks, which represents the fundamental (or acarological) risk of to B. burgdorferi, but they also provide an overview of studies that identify behavioral risk factors and explore areas where additional information in this field are needed.

More information: The full article is available at www.entsoc.org/PDF/2012/EC-11-138.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New tick-borne disease discovered

Sep 20, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Yale School of Public Health researchers in collaboration with Russian scientists have discovered a new tick-borne bacterium that might be causing disease in the United States and elsewhere. ...

Birds Play an Important Role in the Spread of Lyme Disease

Dec 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The range of Lyme disease is spreading in North America and it appears that birds play a significant role by transporting the Lyme disease bacterium over long distances, a new study by the Yale School of ...

Recommended for you

Thyroid disease risk varies among blacks, Asians, and whites

14 hours ago

An analysis that included active military personnel finds that the rate of the thyroid disorder Graves disease is more common among blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders compared with whites, according to a study in the April ...

The key to easy asthma diagnosis is in the blood

17 hours ago

Using just a single drop of blood, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has developed a faster, cheaper and more accurate tool for diagnosing even mild cases of asthma.

Younger adults hit hardest this flu season

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The H1N1 flu was the predominant influenza strain in the United States this year, but it packed a lot less punch than in 2009 when it caused a worldwide pandemic, health officials report.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
not rated yet Jan 05, 2012
B. burgdorferi is only one of many infective agents carried by (deer) ticks. Ehrlichiosis, bartonellosis, anaplasmosis are a few of the others. From personal experience, they are all nasty and, at best, very difficult to identify and to eradicate.