“The State of Lyme Disease Research in the United States”
Center for Lyme Action, a nonprofit dedicated to growing federal funding for Lyme and tick-borne diseases, has published a research paper called “The State of Lyme Disease Research in the United States.”
With nearly half a million new cases of Lyme disease each year in the U.S., the paper chronicles the current published studies and makes recommendations for areas of federal investment.
“Lyme is a frustrating and debilitating disease, but it’s a solvable problem,” said Jeff Crater, co-founder of the Center for Lyme Action.
“Unfortunately, Lyme disease cases are rising, but with the right research funded to create new diagnostics and therapies we can make progress towards a cure.”
In the “State of Lyme Disease Research,” Center for Lyme Action makes 26 important recommendations. The paper is organized around the five research priorities from the 2019 NIH Strategic Plan for Tick-borne Disease Research, a comprehensive blueprint to guide a research program that can provide relief to patients across the United States who contract tick-borne illnesses.
Key recommendations include:
- Increase research funding for the development of diagnostics that are sensitive and specific for the detection of Borrelia and other tick-borne infections.
- Increase research funding for alternative therapeutics to treat acute, late-stage, and persistent Lyme disease.
- Build a national biorepository of human samples for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses supported by a network of qualified laboratories and physician clinics.
- Increase research and clinical studies funding to better understand the mechanisms for Borrelia persistence and its tolerance to antibiotics.
“While we need to improve our knowledge of Lyme and tick-borne diseases, fundamentally the diagnostics and therapies for Lyme disease have not changed very much in the last 20 years,” said Nicole Bell, primary author of the paper.
“In particular, Center for Lyme Action recommends significant investments in new diagnostics that will not only help physicians treat patients more effectively, but also can unlock innovative clinical trials for new treatments.”
SOURCE: Center for Lyme Action