On the 14th December 2016 a group of researchers and scientists from the University of Liverpool, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Public Health England met to discuss work by NIHR HPRU in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (EZI) on tick-borne diseases (TBD). The meeting brought together people from a range of different backgrounds from public health clinicians to climate modellers. It was organised by PhD students keen to learn from and collaborate with other researchers in their fields.
Current research within the HPRU EZI was shared via lightning presentations by PhD students and post-doctoral research assistants. This included talks on tick ecology, developing improved diagnostics, risk assessments, surveillance systems and public perception. After discussions, it was agreed that formalising this ‘Tick-Borne Diseases Working Group’ could provide a focus of expertise in tick-borne diseases across HPRUs; with the aims of identifying, co-ordinating and maximising the research output on tick-borne diseases by the HPRU EZI. Meetings will occur on a regular basis and be jointly chaired by John Tulloch and Liz McGinley. Current priorities for the group are to create an official mission statement, to meet with other potential research collaborators and to prioritise research opportunities.
By providing a focused opportunity for researchers across the different HPRU units to share their expertise on tick-borne disease, a more strategic focus for TBD research can be developed. For more information please contact John Tulloch.