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Posted Aug 10 2010 5:40am

£2.5m for Edinburgh University to tackle ticks.

Ticks can transmit number of severe and potentially deadly diseases to humans including Lyme disease Scientists at Edinburgh University have been awarded £2.5m to tackle the growing health risk posed by ticks.

Campers and hikers have long known the misery ticks can cause.

Now scientists at the Roslin Institute aim to find new ways to prevent diseases transmitted by the tiny insect-like creatures.

The university will establish the Roslin Wellcome Trust Tick Cell Biobank with the funding from the Wellcome Trust.

It says the biobank will house the world's largest collection of tick cell lines, enabling scientists to carry out advanced research.

The scientists hope to understand how viruses and bacteria, which are transmitted by ticks and which cause a range of human diseases, can survive for long periods of time within ticks without damaging them.

In parts of the world, ticks can transmit a number of severe and potentially deadly diseases to humans and animals, including Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever. In Britain, cases of Lyme disease are dramatically increasing each year.

In the rest of Europe, tick-borne encephalitis is now endemic in 27 countries, including Germany and Croatia.

Tick numbers are surging in Europe and scientists warn that changing climate patterns and increasing globalisation could enable them to spread into new areas.

The Tick Cell Biobank team and collaborators from seven other European countries have received further funding from the European Union to train a new generation of scientists specialising in ticks and their related diseases.

Project leader Professor John Fazakerley said: "Tick-transmitted infections are likely to be increasingly important in the future. Understanding these diseases and training scientists to undertake research on them is important for both human and animal heath".

Excellent news, once again one has to ask why there are those that dismiss Lyme Disease as rare and easy to cure and then there are the over 19000 research articles written about it and then now this £2.5 million for research on Tickborne illness. I do hope those researchers are fully aware of the enormity of their task not just an interesting experiment on ticks but major World Health consequences can benefit from their research as Eva Sapi is finding from her own similar research.

In the UK alone I am in touch through Eurolyme with 2300 patients (mostly from the UK). We have all struggled to get diagnosis and struggled to get appropriate treatment that can help us. All have been diagnosed with many things as their multiple symptoms progress such as ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Muscle Weakness, facial palsies, Multiple Sclerosis and other Neurological illnesses.

I have posted before on Eva Sapi's work and entering her name in the search box on the right hand side will bring up my earlier posts, or click here
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