WORKSHOP on Lyme and Tick-borne diseases



Lyme and tick-borne disease research in the UK:

A workshop, addressing the scientific uncertainties


On Friday, 22nd November, 2019, at a tick-borne disease workshop in Liverpool, we were invited along with other charities and patient groups to attend and contribute orally in a ten minute slot, our top 5 research suggestions.


This meeting was held jointly by:

Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (HPRU-EZI)

Public Health England (RIPL)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LTSM)

Health Protection Scotland (HPS)


We were very pleased to be given the opportunity to present our top research priorities, plus other important points needing equal and urgent consideration and attention.


We are pleased to be able to inform you that the report is now publicly available through the NIHR HPRU EZI website at the following link: 


We would like it to be noted that had we been given the opportunity to present, as seems to be the norm for most other illnesses, the 10 top research priorities, then the subject of tick related ecology would have been included. However,  as we were limited to just 5 top research priorities, we focused on what we felt were the most pertinent from the perspectives of useful inclusion for medical research.


Our five research priorities presented were:-

  1. What is the seroprevalence of Borrelia infections and other tick-borne diseases in cohorts of the general population and at-risk occupations and lifestyles.
  2.  What are the test methods that have the highest sensitivity and specificity for all stages of disease?  This should include all borrelia species present in the UK and locations visited by UK tourists and all available commercial test kits and other methods that have been developed but not generally in use such as: PCR enhanced EIectroSpray Mass Spectrometry and others.
  3.  What symptoms are characteristic of Lyme disease and what tools are available for diagnosis, for example questionnaires both documented and on-line? Are they in use and are they accurate?
  4. How common is relapse of symptoms after NICE treatment guidelines? And what protocols exist for retreatment?
  5. Identify treatment protocols that are in use, and rank the results. These should include data from clinicians throughout the world and using a wide variety of treatments including: different antibiotics, combinations of antibiotics, long term antibiotics, herbal treatments, other compounds such as disulfiram, hypothermal treatment.