With ~500,000 new cases every year, Lyme disease is one of the most significant and fastest growing infectious diseases in the US, yet Lyme disease research remains significantly underfunded relative to other illnesses of this magnitude. There are too many unanswered questions about the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, its transmission, and its impact on human health. The time to make a difference is now.

More Research is Needed

Tick populations and tick-borne infections like Lyme disease are on the rise, potentially due to climate change, though there is no research definitively proving cause or suggesting solutions.

Newer bacterial strains and species, like Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia mayonii  have only recently been discovered and present equally severe risks to public health.

Lyme symptoms are highly variable, depending on factors like duration of infection, infecting strain, and immune system heterogeneity. Current diagnostic tools are inadequate as indirect antibody testing, which measures the immune response and not the pathogen itself, can be very insensitive. Current treatment regimens for late stage Lyme vary considerably, and one regimen does not cure all patients.

Prevent › Diagnose › Treat

As an independent nonprofit organization, Bay Area Lyme is able to partner with leading researchers and institutions all across the country to support the most innovative and promising projects in Lyme disease research.

True breakthroughs will occur only through well-designed research. At Bay Area Lyme, we have a rigorous screening and monitoring process, grant oversight, and project reporting, to ensure that projects are effectively designed, carried out in a timely fashion, and funds well spent.

 Our Lyme disease research has three primary areas of focus:

  • Diagnostics—leveraging new technologies and methodologies to improve both acute and late stage diagnosis through direct tests for DNA, RNA, cytokines, or other biomarkers.
  • Novel Treatments for Persistent Lyme Disease—new and alternative approaches to treatment, including better therapeutics to eradicate persistent infection.
  • Lyme and Tick Ecology—understanding the ecology of Lyme and other tick borne infections specifically in California, their maintenance in natural reservoirs, which ticks are located where, what they’re infected with, and how high the risk is of being infected at major California recreational areas.

Main photo courtesy of Graham Hickling