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The Current State of Lyme Disease Prevention


Patricia Smith, President of the Lyme disease Association Inc., discusses Lyme disease infection prevention.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“There are many preventative products for Lyme disease now, and many of them seem to be effective, and others are not; nobody really knows. Some of them are approved and they have effectivity ratings, some of them don’t. People have to be really careful to look at manufacturers’ suggestions for what to do and what not to do.
By the way, permethrin-based products, which are often used on clothes [and] sometimes on dogs, should never be used on cats, [because] they’re poisonous to [them].
But, to address [the] issue of vaccines, there was [one] on the [US] market for Lyme disease for humans – there currently is for dogs, and has been for a long time – but [it] was withdrawn. The manufacturer cited lack of sales, but in actuality, many felt there was a real problem. [This] was an OspA-based vaccine (Outer Surface Protein A), which is [in] the Lyme bacteria and was in the vaccine. [We’ve] come to find out that the top percent of the population has some kind of a [reaction to] that OspA: we’re developing either arthritis or autoimmune-type reactions from it, which was not a good thing.
Now, there is a new vaccine from a company in France that the FDA just approved to begin the first stages of seeing if this vaccine will be safe in humans. But it is again an OspA-based vaccine, so, of course, we’re all waiting to see how have they solved the problems from the original OspA vaccine. The new vaccine is using many different OspAs, not just from the bacteria here in the United States, but from other places in the world.”
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