The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), in cooperation with the Town of Redding, will be evaluating a new technology, developed by U.S. Biologics Inc., which has been shown to reduce tick infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease.
The oral bait vaccine is targeted at white-footed mice, one of the principal reservoir species responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease to the blacklegged tick (i.e., deer tick), Ixodes scapularis. In response to consuming the bait containing the vaccine, mice create antibodies to B. burgdorferi. The mice subsequently do not infect the ticks that feed on these rodents. The vaccine prevents the transmission of the Lyme bacteria from the mouse to the tick, so ticks in areas where the vaccine is used are less likely to carry the Lyme bacteria and cause disease.