The first Lyme disease vaccine is now being tested


A vaccine against Lyme disease is now being tested in Sweden, for the first time ever. A new vaccine will probably be on the market within a couple of years, says Johan Sanmartin Berglund, Professor of applied health technology at Blekinge Institute of Technology.

Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but about 20 per cent do. Every year over 10,000 people contract Lyme disease in Sweden and a vaccine would be welcome.

Over 15,000 people are included in the study which is led by Blekinge University of Technology. The vaccine study has now been underway for over a year and it is time for the test persons to receive their third dose of vaccine.

Professor of applied health technology, Johan Sanmartin Berglund, leads the Swedish part of the study.

“It is difficult to produce a Lyme disease vaccine because the Lyme disease bacteria exists in so many different variants. In the preliminary study, we mapped which types of Lyme disease are found in Europe and which the vaccine needs to cover”, says Johan Sanmartin Berglund.

The goal is to produce a vaccine that works everywhere in the world. The region Blekinge in Sweden is one of the test areas in Sweden because the county is known for having a high incidence of Lyme disease.

Johan Sanmartin Berglund believes that a new vaccine will probably be on the market within a couple of years.

“The vaccination study must last over at least two tick seasons. After that, it will take a few more years before the vaccine is approved and available in Europe. I estimate that a new vaccine may be available in 2026” concludes Johan Sanmartin Berglund.



24 May 2023