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Lyme disease is a tick-borne spirochetal
disease that is common in Rhode Island. The OSP A based vaccine against
Lyme disease that has been shown effective in animal models has now been tested by two manufacturers in thousands of people. The vaccines appear to be safe and effective. When the vaccines become available to physicians, there should be strong demand in Rhode Island, especially in the southern part of the state where there is a high degree of public awareness and experience with
Lyme disease. Studies of tick populations support surveillance data that show a concentration of risk in Washington County with a trend of expansion inland. Patients who receive the vaccine should be alerted to the likelihood of local reaction and the less likely systemic effects. Additional patient education should include awareness of other tick-borne diseases such as babesiosis, chrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that are not vaccine-preventable. Serologic testing for
Lyme disease will be affected by the immune response to the vaccine. These vaccines have not yet been tested in children.