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Scientists united in the fight against tick-borne diseases

06.08.2017 Health, Nature
Brda, 2006-08-09. Dorodny kleszcz przyssany do swojej ofiary.
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PAP/Paweł Kula

PAP © 2013 / Paweł Kula

Scientists want to help fight infections caused by ticks within the framework of an environmental initiative. They will set up an Interdisciplinary Team for Tick-borne Diseases, whose first meeting is scheduled on October 21st in the Wroclaw Technology Park.

The cooperation of the scientific community in the fight against infections caused by ticks was established under the auspices of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The initiator of the project is Prof. Janusz Boratyński, head of Laboratory of Biomedical Chemistry, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy PAS.

 

"The topic of tick protection is still current, and the growing threat of tick-borne diseases requires decisive action leading to the reduction of infections" - the Polish Academy of Sciences reports on its website.

 

According to the assumptions, the interdisciplinary team will coordinate research and organizational projects. According to scientists, the idea is to achieve synergy and by means of consultation reduce the time needed to reach the goal - solving the problems caused by ticks. "In this initiative there is a key place for the social partners, such as the Lyme Disease Association" - reads the PAS release.

 

Examples of tasks will include: ticks biology research; development of oral vaccines to stop the chain of infection in the natural environment of wild animals; study and reduction of rodent populations in urban recreational areas; immunological tests; work on reliable diagnostic tests.

 

According to the Polish Academy of Sciences, tick-borne diseases are "an important social, medical, scientific and economic problem". Although more than 30 years have passed since the discovery of Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen that causes Lyme disease, one of the tick-borne diseases, in recent years we have witnessed a steady increase in the number of infections. In 2015, 13,625 cases of Lyme disease were reported in Poland, and 21,220 cases in 2016. Lyme disease is not the only threat. Pathogens carried by ticks also cause babesiosis, tick-borne encephalitis, anaplasmosis and tularemia, the effects of which are dangerous to humans and animals.

 

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