How Science Lost a PR War and We Lost a Lyme Disease Vaccine

n 1998, GlaxoSmithKline released a vaccine. It was made from a protein found on the surface of the Lyme disease bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi; you get a dose and it triggers antibodies, which, rather than killing the bacteria, travelled into the tick itself, knocking out the bacteria at its source before it can enter the body. As far as vaccine mechanisms go, it’s pretty clever and one-of-a-kind. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before things to go downhill. READ