How can Lyme disease be prevented and controlled?

January 4, 2012

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.

Explore further: Lyme disease is spreading in Canada, and physicians are crucial in helping minimize its impact

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

Related Stories

Nationwide spread of Lyme disease is focus of new study

September 10, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Lyme disease has become a major public health issue in the northeastern United States since it was first identified in Connecticut in the 1970s. But the scientific community is uncertain as to why the risk ...

Birds Play an Important Role in the Spread of Lyme Disease

December 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 ...

New tick-borne disease discovered

September 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. Their findings ...

Recommended for you

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

Team discovers how Zika virus causes fetal brain damage

August 24, 2016

Infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly, a team of Yale scientists reported Aug. 24 in the journal ...

1 comment

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.