Friday, 24 April 2015

THE BIG TICK PROJECT - THANK YOU CHRIS PACKHAM




A Big Thank you to Chris Packham for launching The Big Tick Project.
'UK Vets launch Big Tick Project to track rising threat of Lyme Disease'

'Throughout spring and early summer when ticks are most active, vets taking part in the Big Tick Project will be giving dogs visiting their practice a tick check. 
The ticks collected by vet practices will be sent for testing to the team of scientists at Bristol University leading the Big Tick Project. 
The team, led by Professor Richard Wall, will be examining the ticks for the presence of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases which it is feared may be emerging in the UK.
Owners whose dogs have taken part in the project at participating vets will receive a Big Tick Project certificate and have helped advance the knowledge surround tick-borne disease in the UK.'


BBC Breakfast started the day 





The more awareness the better the public is prepared to protect themselves and their pets.

Science is still emerging and past opinions are being proved wrong, this Big Tick Project is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and find out more about ticks and their infections.

Only recently a study done on Grey Squirrels in the North of England and Scotland found that 'Around 12% of the collected squirrels were infected, most commonly by a species of Borrelia usually found in birds.' -- 'Lead researcher Caroline Millins, from the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: "Frequent infection of grey squirrels with bird strains of Borrelia was unexpected, and challenges our current understanding of host pathogen interactions for this zoonotic pathogen.' 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3048908/Squirrels-host-Lyme-disease-bugs.html



Questions being asked - do the current tests used actually pick up this species of Borrelia response from Lyme Disease Action - 'Not as simple as testing for 1 sp or another. UK tests used will detect B garinii infections, but none of the tests are perfect. Serology is an imprecise tool see http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-lyme/tests/

As an advocate for patients with Lyme Disease who has seen many media campaigns fail to get even basic information across correctly - how do we get that all so important message across to doctors and the public that there is an over reliance on antibody tests for Lyme disease in early and also late disease?

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