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Investigating Lymes Disease S ymptoms and Current V accines and Possible F uture I deas to Develop a New Vaccine. . By: Nina M. Holz. Some Basic Background Information Regarding Ticks and Lymes Disease .

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By nina m holz

Investigating Lymes Disease Symptoms and Current Vaccines and Possible Future Ideas to Develop a New Vaccine.

By: Nina M. Holz

Some basic background information regarding ticks and lymes disease
Some Basic Background Information Regarding Ticks and Lymes Disease

  • The tick that passes enables animals to contract Lymes Disease is called: Ixodesscapularis.

  • The ticks generally feed on a wide variety of small mammals, birds, and reptiles, but prefer to feed on white-footed mice(Peromyscusleucopus), which are the important reservoir of infection in nature.

  • Adults prefer to feed and mate on white-tailed deer .

  • The infection is a bacteria calledBorreliaburgdorferi. The ticks usually get infected from feeding on a infected host.

  • Not all humans that get bite by ticks get Lymesdiesease

  • Only ticks that are infected with the bacteria can give Lymes to humans

  • This is generally after a prolonged amount of time feeding on the human where they can also get Lymes disease

Internal anatomy of a tick
Internal Anatomy of a Tick

  • Shown to the left is the internal anatomy of a tick. The picture shows the major areas involved in feeding and reproducing in the tick.

Early o nset s ymptoms of lymes disease
Early Onset Symptoms of Lymes Disease

  • Within 1-4 weeks of being bitten by an infected tick, most people will experience some symptoms of Lyme disease.

  • A circular, expanding rash (called erythemamigrans) at the site of the bite develops in about 70%-80% of cases.

  • Some people report flu-like symptoms at this stage, including fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and muscle aches.” (WebMD)

Mid stage onset symptoms of lymes disease
Mid-Stage Onset Symptoms of Lymes Disease

  • If the disease is not detected and treated in its early stages, it can extend to more areas of the body, affecting the joints, heart, and nervous system (about 1-4 months after the initial bite).

  • Additional rashes may occur, and there may be intermittent periods of pain and weakness in the arms or legs.

  • Facial-muscle paralysis (Bell's palsy), headaches, and poor memory are other symptoms at this stage, along with a rapid heartbeat and some loss of control of facial muscles.” (WebMD)

Late stage onset symptoms of lymes disease
Late-Stage Onset Symptoms of Lymes Disease

  • This is the most serious stage of the disease, when treatment was either not successful or never started (usually occurring many months after the initial bite).

  • Joint inflammation (arthritis), typically in the knees, becomes apparent, and may become chronic.

  • The nervous system can develop abnormal sensation because of disease of peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy), and confusion.

  • Heart problems are less common, but can include inflammation of the heart muscle.” (WebMD)

Current treatments for lymes disease
Current Treatments for Lymes Disease

  • Most Lyme disease is curable with antibiotics, particularly when the infection is diagnosed and treated early.

  • Doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime are the drugs of choice most of the time for early illness.

  • Later stages might require longer-term, intravenous antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone.” (WebMD)

Vaccines made for lymes disease
Vaccines made for Lymes Disease

  • Currently, there is no human vaccine for Lyme disease.

  • The one that did exist -- LYMErix -- is no longer available.

  • Originally approved by the FDA in 1998 to help prevent the disease, the vaccine was pulled from the market by the manufacturer in 2002 due to poor sales.

  • There was concern that the vaccine could trigger arthritis problems, although the FDA never found evidence that the vaccine was dangerous.” (WebMD)

Possible ideas for a future vaccine for lymes disease
Possible Ideas for a Future Vaccine for Lymes Disease

  • Since the Salp15 protein is the protein that enables the bacteria to enter the host initially undetected, learning more about the protein anatomy and morphology would be beneficial.

  • If there is some way to possibly degrade the protein so that the bacteria is exposed and becomes vulnerable, I think this would allow the host’s body to fight off the bacteria faster and more efficiently with hopefully less damage to the body.