Infection Control Today | Jul 25, 2019

As Lyme disease increases, researchers have taken a significant step toward finding new ways to prevent its transmission. The experts, who include a pioneer in Lyme disease discovery, have sequenced the genome of the animal carrying the bacteria that causes the illness. The advance by researchers at the University of California, Irvine and colleagues provides a launching pad for fresh approaches to stopping Lyme disease from infecting people.

Results of their study appear today in Science Advances.

The scientists dedicated four years to decoding the genetic makeup of the white-footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus, which harbors the Lyme disease-causing bacteria. Unlike mice that scurry into human homes, these rodents inhabit forests, shrubbery and wetlands. People become infected when a tick bites them after feeding on a white-footed mouse carrying the bacteria.

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