The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) was formed in the spring of 2012 and is dedicated to raising awareness, promoting advocacy and supporting initiatives to find a cure for tick-borne diseases, including Lyme.
Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease and the most common tick-borne disease in the country. Its increasingly virulent co-infections contribute to what is a major public health problem. As part of its mission to educate the public about the alarming escalation of tick-borne diseases, TBDA has launched a national public awareness, advocacy and fundraising campaign. Along with TBDA’s efforts to raise awareness, the organization has embarked on a quest to develop a reliable diagnostic tool as a first step toward eradicating tick-borne diseases. Working with others in the tick-borne disease community nationwide, TBDA seeks to help create a unified voice about this epidemic in order to make a difference. TBDA will be inviting other tick-borne disease-related organizations in the United States to work together in its efforts to coalesce a national movement around the issue.
At this time, there are no vaccines to prevent Lyme disease or the co-infections in use in the United States. Available diagnostic tools have not been proven to be 100% reliable. The Center for Disease Control reports that people diagnosed in the early stages of Lyme disease and treated with appropriate antibiotics usually recover; however, approximately 10-20% of patients may experience recurring and persistent symptoms. There is concern that the actual number of cases of recurring illness may be much higher. Such diagnostic inadequacies and limitations can significantly hamper timely and appropriate treatment of the early stages of Lyme and tick-borne diseases, and also allow for ongoing misdiagnoses and ineffective medical protocols.
TBDA recently partnered with the X PRIZE Foundation, the leader in solving the world’s grand challenges through large-scale, global incentivized competitions, to create the “TBDA Diagnostic X PRIZE,” the first worldwide competition to develop a reliable diagnostic tool for Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
The TBDA and X PRIZE Foundation initiative serves as a crucial step toward eradicating Lyme and tick-borne diseases, which have emerged as a global public health issue with infections reported in nearly every U.S. state.
More information about TBDA and other tick-borne related topics can be found at www.TBDAlliance.org.