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First aid after tick bites
Date:12/19/2011

This press release is available in German.

For years, Mrs. S. suffered from joint pain and headaches. After an odyssey through doctors' waiting rooms, one doctor diagnosed Lyme borreliosis an infectious disease transmitted by ticks. With its bite, the parasite introduced bacteria that then spread throughout the entire body. Mrs. S. is not alone very often, the disease is recognized too late or not at all, or is not properly treated. Doctors are provided with no clues if the characteristic redness around the bite area is missing. Left untreated, Lyme borreliosis can cause symptoms that resemble rheumatism, damage joints, muscles and nerves and affect the organs.

If found in time, it can be successfully treated. If patients exhibit the disease-specific rash known as erythema migrans, doctors will prescribe antibiotics for several weeks. However, if, as in the case of Mrs. S., the disease has progressed far and is chronic, it is very difficult to treat. Currently, there is no prophylactic treatment and no vaccine against the infection. In the future, a new type of gel is supposed to nip the infection in the bud: the patient applies it locally immediately after the tick's bite. Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI in Leipzig developed the medication in close cooperation with the Swiss company Ixodes AG and the Institute for Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich (Institut fr Infektionsmedizin und Zoonosen der LMU Mnchen). Ixodes AG is responsible for developing the formula, while IZI and LMU are carrying out the pre-clinical studies and the serological examinations.

If the gel is applied immediately to the bite after the tick has been removed and one does not wait for any potential symptoms to show, Lyme borreliosis could be prevented. This is because during the firs
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Contact: Dr. Jens Knauer
jens.knauer@izi.fraunhofer.de
49-341-355-361-206
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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