The volunteer-run national Lyme Disease Association (LDA) is supporting H.R. 4701, the “Vector-Borne Disease Research Transparency and Accountability Act of 2014,“ Vector-Borne Disease Research Act of 2014,” introduced yesterday by U.S. Representative Chris Gibson (NY-19), pictured.
The Act strengthens the structure at the federal level for addressing vector-borne diseases, defined for the bill’s purposes to mean infections “transmitted to humans or other animals by ticks, mosquitoes, or fleas, such as Lyme disease.” The LDA appreciated the opportunity to provide input to the House as this legislation was being drafted to ensure robust provisions to address TBD within the more encompassing VBD bill.
The Act requires the Directors of NIH and CDC (“Directors”), within 6 months of enactment, to identify 2 or more bacterial or parasitic diseases that have a high domestic incidence and to develop a scientific framework for the conduct or support of research for each. For purposes of identifying a VBD and developing a scientific framework under this bill, tick-borne diseases, including Lyme and other TBD will be treated as a single VBD. That grouping takes into account the geographic spread of ticks, multiple infections carried by the same ticks, and the clinical significance of co-infections in humans. This action prevents the majority of lesser known TBD in the U.S. from being left outside the scope of a framework, but allows for discretion in how to address each TBD.
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