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Researchers strive for vaccine against tick-borne diseases

[CanLyme note: notice that most USA National Institute of Health funding only goes to find a way of monetizing Lyme disease so that companies can profit off of the sick. Virtually no research is funded to identify the prevalence in the current population of the chronically ill, who have been given everything but a Lyme disease diagnosis, or treat the cause of the disease]

KINGSTON, R.I. — In a basement laboratory at the University of Rhode Island, adult deer ticks are taped onto their backs, legs flailing. For about an hour, the watermelon-seed-sized ticks continuously drool into a miniature glass tube.

If research assistant Megan Dyer is lucky, she may get the equivalent of a tiny raindrop in tick saliva by the time she is finished with the three-dozen ticks.

Bizarre as the work seems, it’s part of a serious two-decade effort by URI professor and tick expert Tom Mather to develop a vaccine against tick-borne diseases that would make people itch as soon as a deer tick bites.

“It’s noticing them before they have time to transmit disease,’’ said Mather, who is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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