The story of mRNA vaccines dates back to the early 1990s, when Hungarian-born researcher Katalin Kariko of the University of Pennsylvania started testing mRNA technology as a form of gene therapy. The idea is similar whether scientists want to use the mRNA molecule to cure disease or prevent it; send instructions to the cells of the body to make something specific.
Two of these experimental vaccines target influenza, including one Weissman hopes will be a so-called universal influenza vaccine -- one that will protect against rapidly mutating strains of flu, and perhaps offer people years of protection with a single shot, eliminating the need for fresh immunizations each flu season.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/01/health/mrna-vaccines-covid-future/index.htmlThe mRNA approach might also work against some tickborne diseases, Weissman said.
"The idea there is if you are immune to tick saliva proteins, when the tick bites you, the body produces inflammation and the tick falls off," Weissman said.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, and the tick generally has to stay attached 36 to 48 hours before it transmits the bacteria to the host. If the tick falls off before that, it cannot transmit the infection.