Lyme Disease is a serious and growing problem in North America. In the past decade, cases have exploded and we have learned more about some of the long-term consequences of the disease.
According to a report from New Scientist, scientists have identified a new chemical that could prove critical in fighting Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that is found in mice. When a tick bites the mouse, the bacteria can be transferred to a human by the tick. Luckily, we have an antibiotic called doxycycline that can kill the bacteria in an infected human.
Researches at Northeastern University have identified a compound called hygromycin that is very effective at killing Borrelia burgdorferi. More importantly, according to research, it doesn’t have any effect on animals or humans. If this research holds up, scientists could introduce this hygromycin to mouse populations in areas where Lyme is prominent, thus killing Borrelia burgdorferi before it can be transferred to humans. This couldn’t be achieved with doxycycline.
Images from: Center For Disease Control