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Doxycycline Injection Protects Against Tick-Borne Disease

Could serve as prophylaxis for patients bitten by ticks

WEDNESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- A single injection of sustained-release doxycycline is effective in preventing tick-borne illnesses of Lyme borreliosis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in mice, according to an article published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology in April.

Nordin S. Zeidner, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colo., and colleagues studied the use of prophylactic doxycycline in preventing tick-borne illness by treating mice with either a single injection of sustained-release doxycycline or a single dose of oral doxycycline and then exposing the mice to ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the microbial agent causing Lyme disease, and A. phagocytophilum, the causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis.

The researchers report that sustained-release doxycycline prevented B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum infection in 100 percent of the mice, as indicated by polymerase chain reaction, culture isolation and histopathology. In contrast, oral doxycycline only protected 20 percent and 30 percent of mice from B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum infections, respectively.

"These studies indicate that a single injection of a sustained-release formulation antibiotic may offer a viable prophylactic treatment option for multiple infectious agents in patients presenting with tick bites," the authors conclude.

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