Tick research in Poland
Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that carry dangerous diseases. The EEA Grants supports the research of the Medical University of Silesia on ticks and tick-borne diseases, which will help improve the level of health safety in Poland.
Ticks attack both humans and animals, and can be found in forests and wetland areas throughout the world. Diseases transmitted to humans by ticks, including Lyme disease and meningitis, have become increasingly common in recent years, and the risk of infection has increased due to population growth and the increased use of forests as recreational areas.
“All diseases transmitted by ticks are very dangerous for humans”, says Krzysztof Solarz, of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice in Poland. With half a million euro in support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, Solarz and his team of researchers are currently in the process of looking into tick-borne diseases. Their research is expected to uncover the currently unknown infection risks of tick bites in many tourist areas in Poland, such as recreational areas and national parks, and other places where people work and rest.
Important for prevention
Detecting the bacteria, viruses and germs transmitted by ticks will make it possible to evaluate the risk of infection, and find out where the risk of infection is particularly high. To do this, the research team will study ticks in order to create a map showing the prevalence of ticks infected with borreliosis and other tick-borne diseases in the south-eastern parts of Poland.
The research project also includes the clinical examination of approximately 6000 people between the age of 18 and 80 in Southeast Poland. The aim is to determine the prevalence of tick-borne diseases, and acquire more knowledge of the symptoms of tick-borne diseases infection. Knowing more about the symptoms will enable early detection of infection, and will also essential for the formulation of monitoring, diagnostic and preventive programmes.
Photo: Identification of collected ticks. The picture is taken by Piotr Cube.
Risk of exposure to ticks (Acari: Ixodida) and ixodid-transmitted pathogens on the territory of Poland
Type & project assistance:
Grant agreement date:
27 January 2009
The purpose of the Project is to increase the knowledge of the infection hazard of borreliosis and other pathogens transmitted by ticks and to research to what extent people in South-East Poland are exposed to diseases caused by tick-transmitted pathogens, with the overall objective to improve the level of health safety for people who are exposed to ticks. Reference is made to the application dated 11 April 2007, and any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.
The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:
1) Faunistic research; collecting the ticks and creating a map of structure and composition of its population in Poland;
2) Examination of collected ticks to assess the risk of exposure to borreliosis;
3) Epidemiological and clinical research (serological examination of 6000 people in South-East Poland);
4) Research and determination of genetic mechanisms in relation to relevant micro-organisms;
5) Analysis of obtained results and formulation of monitoring, diagnostic and preventive programmes;
6) Purchase and installation of necessary equipment;
7) Publications on research findings;
8) Project management, audit and publicity.
The Project Promoter is the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice.
Subject to national law, the Project shall be implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo.
The Focal Point shall ensure that the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland shall provide at least 15 percent of the total eligible Project costs.