t few days, the bacteria stay right around the spot where the tick bite occurred and spread out only after that. The active ingredient of the gel is azithromycin, which is highly effective against borrelia
bacteria and kills them locally in the skin," says Dr. Jens Knauer, project manager at IZI. Unlike other antibiotics, there is no known resistance of borrelia
strains against azithromycin. Another advantage of the active ingredient: it has few side effects and as a result does not stress the body. It also distinguishes itself by its good depot action of up to five days in the tissue. The treatment is successful only if the medication is applied within the first few days after the tick's bite. This gel, however, cannot be used to treat an established infection; it is suitable only for prophylaxis," emphasizes Dr. Knauer.
The pre-clinical studies have already been completed successfully; in mice, the gel was effective even five days after a tick's bite. The application has been patented. Starting this past summer, in a clinical phase III study (http://www.zeckenstudie.com), the researchers are testing the medication on persons with proven tick bites. Should the results of the pre-clinical studies be confirmed on humans, the gel will help to significantly lower the number of new infections," the expert adds. Annually, up to 60,000 are stricken with Lyme borreliosis in Germany alone, according to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute, with an upward trend since, due to climate change, ticks are expanding their range ever further. As soon as the gel can be purchased at the pharmacy, persons who are particularly endangered, such as forest rangers, hunters, joggers or soccer players, should always carry it with them," Knauer recommends.
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