Help Address Persistent Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Funding News Edition: August 03, 2022
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In most cases, Lyme disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics. But, in approximately 10 to 20 percent of cases, continuing or newly emerging symptoms follow treatment, a condition generally labeled Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS).

Through our new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Understanding Persistent Signs and Symptoms Attributed to Post-Treatment Lyme Disease (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed), NIAID aims to support research that directly and specifically addresses possible mechanisms of persistent symptoms in PTLDS. As a starting point, possible sources of PTLDS include persistent infection with Lyme Borrelia species, autoimmune response triggered by initial infection, persistent inflammatory responses, co-infections, generalized (non-specific) post-infectious syndrome, or other infectious or non-infectious conditions.

Specific Research Priorities

Your proposed research should address known persistent signs and symptoms observed in some patients following initial treatment for Lyme disease. Include studies using well-defined clinical samples from patients with PTLDS when possible.

NIAID prioritizes the following topics:

  • Pathogen-specific mechanisms, host-responses, and other mechanisms that lead to persistent symptoms in patients with PTLDS
  • Genetic markers, underlying conditions, or biomarkers that identify patients predisposed to developing PTLDS
  • The role of the microbiome in PTLDS

You may use animal models so long as you justify their use in studying persistent disease sequelae in humans.

Conversely, NIAID will not review applications that propose a clinical trial, focus on Lyme disease diagnostics, or propose to develop Lyme disease vaccines or new drugs. Nor will this FOA fund general studies of fundamental pathogen biology or host-pathogen interactions if they lack a well-justified correlation with observed post-Lyme sequelae.

Application Requirements

Your budget request cannot exceed $400,000 in annual direct costs. Your project period is limited to five years.

The FOA has a single application due date: November 8, 2022.

Direct questions about the initiative to Dr. Nadine Bowden, NIAID’s scientific/research contact, at or 301-761-6973. For questions specific to peer review, contact Dr. Maryam Feili-Hariri, NIAID’s scientific review officer, at or 240-669-5026.

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