A novel idea in the fight against Lyme disease has recently emerged from MIT.Kevin Esvelt, an evolutionary biologist at MIT, approached the problem of Lyme disease by looking at the most common “reservoir host” – the white footed mouse, and seeking to make mice immune genetically.
Currently ticks feed on rodents with the bacteria and become infected before infecting humans. Esvelt has proposed using a new genome-engineering tool to create mice that are immune to the Lyme-causing pathogen and/or the protein in tick’s saliva to break the cycle of transmission.
The idea may be tried soon on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts where 40% of the island residents have been infected. The island residents have been divided over the idea of culling or permanently removing the deer population – a technique that has been used successfully in other island communities.
I think the idea has merit but as one step in a much more aggressive approach. Here in Florida the communities are routinely fumigated to control mosquito populations so why can’t the same be done for ticks?
For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/science/ticks-lyme-disease-mice-nantucket.html?_r=1