Ticks and Lyme Disease
Lyme borreliosis is a tick-borne disease that is a growing problem in the UK, with about 1000 cases reported each year.
High risk occupations include sheep farming, gamekeeping and forestry, although increased participation in outdoor sports and activities such as hillwalking and mountain-biking means that a large proportion of the British population is now susceptible to this infection.
Although treatable with antibiotics, complete cure of Lyme disease depends on rapid diagnosis; the bullseye rash shown is characteristic but seen in less than half of those infected. Failure to administer prompt treatment may result in long-term problems for the patient, including nervous damage and psychological alterations.
Although ticks do not begin to feed immediately they attach to a host, it is imperative that they be removed from the skin as quickly as possible. The tick removal devices currently available do not always remove the tick intact and can cause it to regurgitate infected saliva into the bloodstream during detachment.
We at Xeroshield are currently developing an improved tick remover, to be marketed together with a rapid turnaround, accurate and reasonably priced laboratory service for detection of the Borrelia spirochete (shown bottom left) in ticks collected and immobilized by this device.