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Fundamental research

11 - 06 - 2018

Ticks and diseases: an INRA report

The National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) published in May a report on ticks, Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. Known facts are explained, as well as ongoing research.



Ticks are the world's leading vector of disease for animals and the second for humans.




 The tick Ixodes ricinus is the most widespread in France. It can transmit through its blood meals Lyme disease or borreliosis: 54000 cases estimated in 2016. It is a disease whose diagnosis must be rapid to allow effective treatment.




There are more than a dozen viral, bacterial or parasitic diseases, that ticks can transmit in France to humans or animals.


Several INRA units work on ticks in different projects.

The CiTIQUE project aims to collect a large amount of field information with the help of the population.

The LymeSnap project is attempting to largely identify cases of erythema migrans, a characteristic feature of Lyme disease.

The OHTICKS project! researches all tick-borne pathogens to provide appropriate diagnostic tests.

The Genlric project will sequence the genome of Ixodes ricinus so to optimize the fight against ticks and disease transmission.

The CC-EID & CLIMATICK project tracks the risk of emergence of infectious diseases in relation to climate change.


This report makes it clear that the fight against tick diseases will be long and difficult as these arthropods are implanted in our environment and adapted to the humans and animals on which they depend.