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A Vaccine against Lyme Disease?

Gary P. Wormser, MD
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Westchester County Medical Center Valhalla, NY 10595 Acknowledgments: The author thanks Drs. Ira Schwartz, Harold Horowitz, Donald Marks, David Krause, and Durland Fish for their helpful comments and Eleanor Bramesco for her assistance. Grant Support: In part by cooperative agreement U50/CCU 210280 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by grants 41508 and 43135 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Dr. Wormser's laboratory also receives support from Connaught Laboratories, Inc., and SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, which are currently testing Lyme disease vaccine preparations for efficacy. Requests for Reprints: Gary P. Wormser, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Westchester County Medical Center, Room 209SE, Macy Pavilion, Valhalla, NY 10595.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1995;123(8):627-629. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-123-8-199510150-00011
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The approximately 8000 to 10 000 cases of Lyme disease reported annually in the United States makes this tickborne spirochetal infection by far the most common vector-borne disease in this country. The etiologic agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, was recovered from the tick vector in 1981 and from infected humans in 1982 [1]. Successful cultivation of the organism in an enriched artificial medium (Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly medium) has permitted the rapid accumulation of information on structural features, genetic composition, and useful animal models of infection. Knowledge in these areas has greatly facilitated vaccine development.

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