Lyme disease
Lyme disease is an inflammatory
disease spread through a tick bite. It
has stages 1,2 or 3.

There is no approved drug for Lyme
disease treatment. Antibiotics such as
doxycycline, cefuroxime and amoxicillin
are currently used off-label. The
patent protection of all these
antibiotics expired long ago and many
generic versions of the antibiotics are
available very cheaply.

Lyme disease is a dangerous disease
which is transmitted by ticks. Blood-
sucking ticks ingest the agents that
cause the disease – bacteria of the
species Borrelia burgdorferi and its
relatives – during a blood meal, and
subsequently transmit them to the next
victim they feast on, often a person.

It is estimated that, in Western Europe,
up to half of all ticks carry the bacteria.
Although the early symptoms of the
illness are quite mild, if left untreated, it
can result in serious damage to the
skin, the joints, the heart and the
nervous system, and effective therapy
becomes very difficult.

In September 2011 a team of
researchers led by the veterinary
bacteriologist professor Reinhard
Straubinger at Ludwig-Maximilians
Universität (LMU) München, Germany
has hown, in an animal model, that
application of a gel containing the
antibiotic azithromycin to the site of the
bite rapidly terminates the infection.

The efficacy of this local antibiotic
therapy for the treatment of borreliosis
in humans is now being tested in a
Phase III clinical trial.

"Our approach simply involves
applying a transparent, self-adhesive
plaster to the site of the wound," says
Straubinger. "Because the plaster
contains very little antibiotic, the
effects are localized and side-effects
are negligible."A new antibiotic
ointment that prevents Lyme disease
in animal model studies may be
available soon for human use as a
topical cream applied directly to a tick