Friday, August 11, 2006

New Research Underway on Tick-Borne Illnesses

Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the USA have received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to investigate if increased intake of antioxidants can protect against tick-borne illnesses.

-- Rocky Mountain spotted fever (potentially life threatening) caused by the parasitic bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii.

-- Mediterranean Spotted Fever (also called Boutonneuse fever), caused by Rickettsia connorii (usually transmitted by dog ticks)

The science team, led by Sanjeev Sahni, are investigating the role that antioxidants, like alpha-lipoic acid, vitamins C and E, and antioxidants found in green tea, might play in preventing the rickettsia bacteria.

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