Will there be an anti-tick tablet for people? Expert on research results: “A promising alternative”

Will there be an anti-tick tablet for people?  Expert on research results: "A promising alternative"

Perhaps an “anti-tick” tablet will soon be available to people. Experts conducted a study, the results of which are promising. We explain how exactly this form of protection would work.

The peak period of tick activity begins in spring. They pose a serious threat to humans due to the possibility of transmitting diseases, including Lyme disease. They can be found on allotments, in forests and parks, i.e. in places where we spend most of our time on warm days. While there are anti-tick tablets for animals, people must first and foremost be careful – wear long-sleeved clothing, use tick repellents and carefully check the body after returning home. The dream seems to be an anti-tick tablet for humans. It turns out, however, that perhaps such an “abstract life” will soon become a reality.

Anti-tick tablet for humans – new research

Perhaps such protection will soon be available to people. All thanks to research conducted by the pharmaceutical company Tarsus. The results of the second phase of the study really give a lot of hope. Such an anti-tick tablet for humans has been given the working name TP-05 and is based on lotilaner. If it is approved for sale, it will be the first means of preventing tick bites for humans and, as a consequence, it will protect us against a dangerous disease such as Lyme disease. Scientists compared the effects of taking a dose of the drug by the subjects and those of taking a placebo. The survival of ticks on human skin was assessed after 24 hours – on the first day in people who took the tablet, tick mortality was 92 percent (at the low dose) and 97 percent (at the high dose). In turn, in people who took a placebo it was only 5 percent.

Karolina Pyziak-Kowalska, M.D., a specialist in the field of infectious diseases with over 20 years of experience in medical practice, spoke on this topic in an interview with “Wprost”. Warsaw, and in the period 2018-2021 she was the deputy head of infectious diseases in Warsaw.

In February 2024, Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced positive preliminary results from a study that evaluated TP-05 (lotilaner), a new, investigational oral therapy aimed at preventing Lyme disease. TP-05 in the study was characterized by high tick mortality, which provides potential for the prevention of Lyme disease. The study assessed the ability of TP-05, at various doses, to kill attached ticks in treated people compared to a control group (placebo). These results open new possibilities for the prevention of Lyme disease, which is a growing health challenge, the expert explained.

She also noted that such an agent may help prevent tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease: “TP-05 is an oral variant of lotilaner, selectively inhibiting parasite-specific GABA-Cl channels, which is an innovative approach compared to traditional preventive methods. The development of TP-05 could be an important step in the fight against Lyme disease, offering a new preventive strategy that can complement existing prevention methods.”

Will the “tick pill” help fight Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a serious disease transmitted by ticks – infection occurs as a result of being bitten by an infected tick. It is an insidious disease, called “the plague of the 21st century.” Untreated Lyme disease can lead to serious complications. Diagnosing it, in turn, is also difficult, which is why such a “tablet for ticks”, which could be taken orally by humans, is a real hope in this matter.

The use of TP-05, an oral tick-killing drug, may significantly change the current approach to Lyme disease prevention, which traditionally focuses on preventive measures such as avoiding areas where ticks are present, using repellents, and thoroughly checking the body after returning from at-risk areas. The fact that TP-05 has been shown to be highly effective in killing ticks within 24 hours of attachment in studies presents a promising preventive alternative. Killing ticks during this period can significantly increase the likelihood of preventing Lyme disease, considering that most Borrelia burgdorferi transmission occurs 36-48 hours after tick attachment, explained Karolina Pyziak-Kowalska, MD.

The expert emphasized that the problem of Lyme disease is really serious, and this type of prophylaxis would prevent this disease: “To sum up, the positive results of the phase 2a study on TP-05 open promising perspectives for the prevention of Lyme disease, offering a potentially new, effective method of preventing this disease. by direct action on its vectors – ticks. This is particularly important given the growing problem of Lyme disease, highlighting the importance of innovative approaches in the field of vector-borne disease prevention.”

For now, however, such a tablet is still in the research phase, so we urge you to be careful – check out the home remedies for ticks. It is also worth knowing where ticks that transmit dangerous diseases are found. After each walk, carefully check the places on your body that ticks like the most.

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