New “Subway Map” of Lyme Disease Pathways Identifies Potential New Treatment Targets

Lyme disease bacteria
Scientists at Tufts University School of Medicine have developed a genome-scale metabolic model or “subway map” of key metabolic activities of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Using this map, they have successfully identified two compounds that selectively target routes only used by Lyme disease to infect a host. Their research was published October 19, 2023 in the journal mSystems. The open-access article is titled “Metabolic Modeling Predicts Unique Drug Targets in Borrelia burgdorferi.” While neither medication is a viable treatment for Lyme because both have numerous side effects, the successful use of the computational “subway map” to predict drug targets and possible existing treatments demonstrates that it may be possible to develop micro-substances that only block Lyme disease, while leaving other helpful bacteria untouched.
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