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A systematic review and meta-analysis for the adverse effects, immunogenicity and efficacy of Lyme disease vaccines: Guiding novel vaccine development

Alaa Badawi, Maria Shering, Shusmita Rahman, L. Robbin Lindsay


BACKGROUND: Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most prevalent arthropod-borne infectious disease in North America. Currently, no vaccine is available to prevent LB in humans, although monovalent and multivalent vaccines have been developed in the past.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the current study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate and compare the findings from these two classes of vaccines for their reactogenicity, immunogenicity and efficacy, in the hope this may assist in the development of future vaccines.

METHODS: A search strategy was developed for online databases (PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, and Embase). Search terms used were “vaccine/vaccination”, “Lyme disease/Borreliosis”, “clinical trial(s)” and “efficacy”. Only seven clinical trials were included to compare the results of the monovalent vaccines to those of the multivalent one. Meta-analyses were conducted to evaluate the reactogenicity and immunogenicity of the two vaccine classes. Odds ratio (OR) for LB (and 95% confidence intervals; 95% CI) were calculated for the efficacy of the monovalent vaccine from three different clinical trials at different dose schedules.

RESULTS: Incidence of redness (local adverse effect) and fever (systemic side effect) were, respectively, 6.8- and 2.9-fold significantly lower (p < 0.05) in individuals who received multivalent vaccines compared to those receiving the monovalent one. Incidences of all other local and systemic adverse effects were non-significantly lower in the multivalent vaccine compared to the monovalent vaccines. Seroprotection was comparable among individuals who received the two vaccine classes at the 30 μg dose level. Efficacy in the prevention of LB was only evaluated for the monovalent vaccines. OR of LB ranged from 0.49 (95% CI: 0.14–0.70; p < 0.005, vs. placebo) to 0.31 (95% CI: 0.26–0.63; p < 0.005) for the initial and final doses respectively, with an overall OR of 0.4 (95% CI: 0.26–0.63, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The current study further validates that the monovalent and multivalent LB vaccines result in mild local side effects and self-limiting systemic adverse effects, with the multivalent vaccine slightly more tolerable than the monovalent one. Both vaccine classes were similarly highly immunogenic. A new vaccine with high safety standards, better efficacy, low cost, and public acceptance is yet to be developed. Meanwhile, personal protection limiting exposure to ticks is recommended.


Lyme disease; vaccine; clinical trial; efficacy; systematic review

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