Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

2015 has certainly been an interesting year for sure. Some promising research is starting to emerge & who knows, may lead to advances in testing & treatment of both acute & chronic cases of Lyme disease. A mass of conferences have been taking place including traditional, alternative & integrative therapies. As a patient it can’t come soon enough. Let’s hope forward momentum can continue for the sake of all the sick patients out there who’s only desire is to get better & lead a normal or near normal life as can be.

I continually update our conferences section (see Lyme conf in right hand menu) & would like to draw attention to the following new events coming up..

Belgium – a look at testing, traditional med & alternative therapies, Antwerp, Sep 12th & 13th: http://lyme-conference.bbow-apso.be/

Lyme Disease Action – focus on persistence, Univ Cambridge, Sep 12th: http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/what-we-are-doing/conferences/

Cowden/Nutramedix Workshop, Copenhagen, Oct 4th Denmark (discounts on up to 5 protocols avail – free admission, reservations needed to secure place): http://www.nutramedix.com/downloads/Flyers/CopenhagenWorkshopInfoFlyer.pdf

Gresham Centre – lab specialists, Lyme docs & patients awareness day & book launch, London, Oct 10th: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/suffering-the-silence-living-experiences-of-lyme-disease-chronic-illness-tickets-17659779877

ILADS – Lyme Fundamentals Oct 15th Florida, USA followed by ILADS International Conf Oct 16-18th: http://www.ilads.org/lyme_programs/ilads-conferences.php

Lyme Disease Assoc/Columbia Univ, Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases: Science Bridging the Gap, Nov 14-15th, Rhode Island USA: http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php/general-information-2015

Assoc Nutritional Medicine – focus on chronic conditions, Nov 15th, London: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lifting-the-veil-part-ii-chronic-disease-whats-really-going-on-tickets-17390619812

Beyond Lyme and Other Chronic Illnesses: Reclaiming our Health and Well-Being with Dr Horowitz author of Why Can’t I Get Better, Massachusetts, Dec 4-6th USA: http://kripalu.org/program/view/BLOI-151/beyond_lyme_and_other_chronic_illnesses_reclaiming

If you are an alternative practitioner we have an open letter available on our site (the first part incs conferences mentioned above, the main part of the article is further down the page at: https://ticktalkireland.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/open-letter-to-herbalists/)

Some new research coming out focuses on persistence of infection – the promising thing is, not only are they looking at why borrelia is persistent they are also making progress on finding which FDA approved drugs can be used to combat it. Some of the new research incs the following:

Identification of new compounds with high activity against stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi from the NCI compound collection:

Emerging Microbes & Infections (2015) 4, e31; doi:10.1038/emi.2015.31
Published online 3 June 2015 Jie Feng, Wanliang Shi, Shuo Zhang and Ying Zhang

We identified the top 30 new active hits, including the top six anthracycline antibiotics daunomycin 3-oxime, dimethyldaunomycin, daunomycin, NSC299187, NSC363998 and nogalamycin, along with other compounds, including prodigiosin, mitomycin, nanaomycin and dactinomycin, as having excellent activity against B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture. The anthracycline or anthraquinone compounds, which are known to have both anti-cancer and antibacterial activities, also had high activity against growing B. burgdorferi with low minimum inhibitory concentration.


Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, forms drug-tolerant persister cells.

American Soc Microbiology 26 May 2015, doi: 10.1128/AAC.00864-15
Bijaya Sharma1, Autumn V. Brown1, Nicole E. Matluck1, Linden T. Hu2 and Kim Lewis

Daptomycin, a membrane-active bactericidal antibiotic, killed stationary phase cells, but not persisters. Mitomycin C, an anti-cancer agent that forms adducts with DNA, killed persisters and eradicated both growing and stationary cultures of B. burgdorferi. Finally, we examined the ability of pulse-dosing an antibiotic to eliminate persisters. After addition of ceftriaxone, the antibiotic was washed away, surviving persisters were allowed to resuscitate, and antibiotic was added again. Four pulse-doses of ceftriaxone killed persisters, eradicating all live bacteria in the culture.


Drug Combinations against Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters In Vitro: Eradication Achieved by Using Daptomycin, Cefoperazone and Doxycycline

Jie Feng, Paul G. Auwaerter, Ying Zhang
PLOS Published: March 25, 2015 / DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117207

Of studied drugs, daptomycin was the common element in the most active regimens when combined with doxycycline plus either beta-lactams (cefoperazone or carbenicillin) or an energy inhibitor (clofazimine). Daptomycin plus doxycycline and cefoperazone eradicated the most resistant microcolony form of B. burgdorferi persisters and did not yield viable spirochetes upon subculturing, suggesting durable killing that was not achieved by any other two or three drug combinations.


Persistence will be the topic of discussion in LDA (UK) conf coming up at the Univ of Cambridge (see conf list above or in right hand menu for more details).

To see loads more studies on persistence check out our links section on the site at: https://ticktalkireland.wordpress.com/facebook-contents-page/chronic-lyme/

A promising new test is being developed in Europe called Hilysens, phase 2 of development is now under way, for more details check out: http://hilysensproject.eu/index.php

I have recently updated our Western Blot Comparison sheet to include Porton Down UK – the file can be downloaded at: https://ticktalkireland.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/wb-comparison-by-jenny-update-2015.xls

For many studies & a look at other tests available check out our section on testing at: https://ticktalkireland.wordpress.com/lyme-links/testing/

Finally, a reminder of who’s to blame for our ills! Here some pics of ticks as a visual reminder to watch out for, although some docs feel that Lyme disease isn’t a problem in Ireland sadly the truth is that there are many more out there than people realise. From our survey of 104 people up to May 2014 When asked which country the tick-borne infection took place, 61% of our respondents were infected in Ireland and 22% in North America. The remaining 17% listed Europe as their source of infection.

If a doctor was to believe that Lyme can only be contracted in America then they would miss 78% of our respondents who were infected in Europe with the majority getting sick after tick bites here in Ireland. For a look at the full results of our surveys check out: http://www.ticktalkireland.org/surveys.html

These are still ongoing & new results will be published towards the end of this year. Please also note our ‘Tick Talking while You’re Walking’ survey where members of the public report in ticks being seen (no guarantee that these are infected ticks but does show where clusters are) – Counties Galway, Kerry, Wicklow & Cork continually show high in the rankings although it’s worth mentioning that many parts of Ireland are reporting ticks, even in gardens & being brought into houses by pets. Here’s a few photos of ticks being reported over the last few years:

Ticks found on a hunting dog in County Meath Jun 2015

hunting dog jun 2015 meath

Tick found at Crodaun Park Sept 2014

Crodaun Park Niall Sep 2014

Ticks from a Deer Alliance awareness session Nov 2011

Deer Alliance Nov 2011 1

Ticks found at Portumna Forest Sept 2011

15 ticks Portumna Sep 18 2011_1

& Portumna again in 2012..

Portumna adult female_engorged nymph

For more tick images check out our main site at: http://www.ticktalkireland.org/ticks.html

Meanwhile, studies relevant to tick-borne diseases in Ireland can be found at: https://ticktalkireland.wordpress.com/irish-related-studies/


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Good news!

Luna has arrived on Kindle! The children’s book ‘Adventures of Luna & Dips‘ written by Jenny O’Dea of Tick Talk Ireland is now released on kindle & available worldwide.

Written as an educational & fun book on the life cycle of ticks, where they live & how they feed – tips on prevention are included, with a mix of facts, fiction & illustrations. Suited to ages 10 & up.To get your copy can search by title or product code B00VS46RIQ in any amazon store around the world.

NB: Pls note that since Sep 2018 Luna has also been loaded onto scribd for free download

luna front cover

Dates for your diary this Spring – on April 21st there will be an informal patient meeting at Leinster House Dublin from 2-4 pm to discuss issues surrounding testing & treatment – please encourage your local TD to attend if you can.

The HPSC’s Scientific Advisory Lyme Borreliosis Sub-Committee will be meeting on 6th May 2015 & on 17th May there will be a Lyme patient & carer meetup in Thurles, Tipperary (if you’d like more details feel free to use our contact us page for more info).

This year, the HSE announced their Lyme Awareness week will run from April 27th to May 1st 2015.

The HPSC (health protection & surveillance centre) have recently published information on the EPI Insights web page at:

Leaflets: Tick Talk Ireland have available some leaflets for distribution in Ireland, if you would like to help pass leaflets to vets, GPs, local libraries, churches, schools & sport clubs, brownie, scouts etc feel free to contact us (as soon as possible) at: http://www.ticktalkireland.org/contact.php

Portumna larval 2

Leaflets are also available for download on our site at: http://www.ticktalkireland.org/leaflets.html

Surveys: Spring is with us & sadly so are the ticks!  Keep a close eye on your self, children & pets whilst out playing, camping, fishing or even releaxing in your own back garden (our surveys show that 22% of ticks being reported were found in their own gardens). If you do spot a tick feel free to let us know on our surveys (see Tick Talking While You’re Walking link on the following site): http://www.ticktalkireland.org/surveys.html

The link above has survey results up to May 2014 with latest results being published summer 2015.

If you are a Lyme patient residing in Ireland (or a patient abroad who was infected in Ireland) why not take our Lyme Disease in Ireland survey located in the web site posted above too. Meanwhile, we have a new map online which will help us pinpoint cases (please note this indicates where the tick bite/infection took place not where the patient resides..)


What about latest research? Promising new studies are coming out about persisters causing ongoing symptoms & the drugs that can be helpful to tackle them – let’s hope this type of science can continue unhindered as patients are tired of the ongoing debate about chronic Lyme & just want to be treated!

Drug Combinations against Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters In Vitro: Eradication Achieved by Using Daptomycin, Cefoperazone and Doxycycline

Jie Feng, Paul G. Auwaerter, Ying Zhang

 Published: March 25, 2015 / DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117207

Taking a Bite out of Lyme: in honour of Lyme patients around the world & in support of the Lyme Disease Challenge here is Tick Talk Ireland’s submission:

Shot of lime 2

For information on transmission head on down to:

IDSA: The outdated IDSA guidelines are currently under review- the deadline for submissions/comments on their proposed Lyme Project Plan has been extended to April 24th 2015, more info at: http://lymedisease.org/news/lymepolicywonk/idsa-deadline-extended.html

UK charity Lyme Disease Action have submitted their views to the IDSA: http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/latest-news/idsa-guidelines/

(ILADS updated their guidelines in 2014: available for download at): https://ticktalkireland.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/ilads-2014.pdf (PDF)

Links: Some useful links on our site are regularly updated – folks may be interested in the Irish related articles section, chronic Lyme section, or testing section. We have lots more useful information in our links page, all in alphabetical order for easy access!

Enjoy & remember to stay safe this Spring & Summer!  http://www.ticktalkireland.org/ticks.html

15 ticks Portumna Sep 18 2011_1

Ticks collected in Portumna Forest, Co Galway Sep 2011

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Autumn Updates 2013

*Newly Added 15th October 2013*

notes of the PHE Meeting mentioned below are now available as follows:

PHE Meeting Download (reviewed by Tick Talk Ireland)
PHE Meeting Slides

Please note that the slides file is very large & may take some time to download. After reading hit the back button to come back to us 😉

For Public Health England’s review go to: conference wrap up

Open Meeting to be held in London, UK

On Wednesday October 9th 2013 Public Health England will be holding their first open meeting on Lyme Disease. Set to attract patients, scientists, reporters, clinicians & support groups there will be many topics covered on the day from testing, epidemiology through to research. Lyme & ME advocate Countess of Mar will be opening the event followed by talks by UK Lyme charities Lyme Disease Action & BADA UK. This is planned to be the first of many meetings, proof that Lyme isn’t so easy to diagnose & treat after all? Also being discussed will be the new Lyme clinic set to open in Winchester.

Per the PHE conference web page ‘Public Health England (PHE) conference on Lyme disease will provide an opportunity to discuss the latest research and developments in the field of Lyme disease, an infectious disease that can lead to very serious health problems, if left untreated. This conference will provide an opportunity for partners from a wide range of disciplines to work together to explore patients’ needs, and discuss issues ranging from long-term symptoms and infections of the nervous system, to testing methodologies.’

For more details click here for the day’s agenda

Patients who are members of a Lyme UK Discussion Group are worried that patients may fall into the ‘mentally ill’ category. I guess that’s no surprise following a meeting held at Public Health England where patients with ‘unprovable symptoms’ will be offered ‘disengagement strategies’. Simon Wessley will be involved in a new guideline for Lyme disease patient management, which leads us back to the NICE guidelines for ME/CFS where ongoing symptoms are put down as of mental origin. Until Lyme tests can be proven 100% accurate I would say it is too early to claim that sero negative patients (particularly those who did report lyme rashes, tick bites & symptoms following a tick bite) are mentally unwell.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/meetings/committees/acdp/161012/acdp_99_p62.pdf (PDF download – hit the back button to return to the page!)

Members of the discussion group have put forward a large selection of questions to the RIPL Lyme testing labs & Dr Dryden of the new Lyme disease clinic. With permission I have uploaded a copy of the questions asked, this is for personal download only & please not for onward distribution.

(PDF download – hit the back button to return to the page!)


Lyme Research UK & Ireland publishes survey results

In collaboration with Tick Talk Ireland surveys were issued to patients by social research team Lyme Research UK & Ireland to find more about their experiences with health care in the NHS & Irish HSE with regards to acute & chronic Lyme disease. Both sero positive & sero negative cases were recorded. Lyme is mostly a clinical diagnosis supported by lab tests however negatives cannot be used to rule out a diagnosis as antibiotics & the state of the immune system have been known to affect results, aswell as the strain of borrelia being tested. Interestingly even patients testing positive are finding problems accessing treatment. This is most likely compounded by the differences of opinion between US health organisations IDSA & ILADS on how best to treat Lyme patients. Consultants prefer to err on the side of caution & offer minimum treatment to a patient, being told often that IV antibiotics for example would cause deaths in patients or that too long a treatment orally would cause complications with gut health. Although both scenarios are true in a subset of patients, patients can be rendered very sick by under treating them or not treating them at all. At the Irish Lyme disease conference June 2012 lead researcher Kate Bloor reported some of the findings of the patient survey.

The final written report, with statistics, is now available for download: Examining the Gap


International Lyme & Associated Diseases organisation will be holding their annual conference at San Diego, California 18-20 October. Next years conference in Europe has been set to be held in Augsburg Germany between April 25-26 2014.

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Clontarf Castle, Dublin. 5/6 June 2012


Half day Tuesday 5th June – protection & prevention tips, plus tick-borne infections in animals

Full day Wednesday 6th June – lyme disease in humans including testing, treatment & research


Clontarf Castle, Dublin (close to the airport, city centre, motorways & ferry terminals)


The conference will be suited to the following audience:

Tuesday session – members of the public who enjoy walking, camping or hunting, pet owners, farmers, park rangers & vets

Wednesday session – patients of diagnosed or suspected tick-borne diseases, doctors, nurses & interested scientists


Afternoon Tuesday 5th June:

Jenny O’Dea: Lyme Disease in the UK & Ireland – results of our tick studies & plus methods of protection
Dr Healy: The Factors Influencing the Density and Distribution in Space and Time of the Tick Ixodes ricinus
Dr Paul Nolan (GP, Ireland): Prevention is better than no cure
Jyotsna Shah (Igenex, USA): A comprehensive approach for diagnosis of Lyme and associated Diseases
Mícheál Casey (Head of Regional Vet Labs): An overview of tick-borne disease in Irish farm animals

All day Wednesday 6th June:

Dr Joseph Jemsek: – Dawn of a New Paradigm in Chronic Illness – The role & relevance of Lyme Borreliosis Complex
Dr Eva Sapi: – Killing Borrelia – is it possible?
Dr Armin Schwarzbach: Staging processes in the laboratory diagnosis of Lyme and co-infections by indirect laboratory tests
Dr Jean Monro – Supportive therapies for the Nervous System
Kate Bloor: An online survey of Lyme patient’s experience of health care in the UK and Eire
Nicola Darrell: Herbal Treatments for Lyme Disease – a look at treatment for lyme & management of post lyme symptoms

Please note that space will be allocated to allow for questions & answers

For details on registration & conference starting times please click here and for information on places to stay please click here. Cheap Flights are available through Ryanair or Aerlingus.

To reserve your ticket for the Lyme Conference go to:Conference Reservation

We also welcome exhibitors & sponsors, more information available on the link above.


Conference Bookings:

Please note to avail of the early bird special (a saving of 5 euros per person) bookings must be received by 31st March 2012

Half Day Tuesday 5th June: registration begins at 1pm, conference runs from 1.30 to 5pm = 20.00 Euro (*price will rise to 25.00 from 1st April) – coffees are included in the price

Full Day Wednesday 6th June: registration begins at 9am, conference runs from 9.30 to 5pm = 40.00 Euro (*price will rise to 45.00 from 1st April) – coffees & buffet lunch are included in the price

Both Days (afternoon 5th June / all day 6th June): registration & conference times above are applicable = 50.00 Euro (*price will rise to 55.00 from 1st April) – coffees both days & buffet lunch on Wednesday are included in the price

For payments by cheque or money order please contact us for address details.

*Please retain your paypal receipt to show on arrival*

Hotel Accommodation:

Clontarf Castle has offered a rate of 109 per room (single) & 119 per room (double). To obtain this rate please quote the ref code: TICK TALK IRELAND – Valid until 4th March (now extended until March 18th) 2012 (for more choices on accommodation please click here)


Price includes 4ft table, coffee & wed buffet lunch (where applicable). Max 2 per table booked. 50% deposit payable now, remainder due 31st March 2012.

Please click here to download exhibitor’s booking form, more details are included on the form.

Coming from the UK? Here’s some tips on how to get to Ireland:

By Air:

Cheap flights are available through Ryanair or Aerlingus.

Euroline coaches:

Travel to Ireland with Eurolines is easy, we provide a range of services to over 40 destinations with prices starting from just £42 return to Dublin (price includes transfer by ferry)

Services operate from most major cites in Britain including Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, London and Manchester arriving at city centre locations saving on the need for expensive airport transfers.



Why not combine the convenience of rail travel with your ferry crossing? Prices start from £32 per person each way.


Irish Ferries:

Save up to 25% Car plus 1 from £79 one way. From £79 online fare for you and your car is valid for midweek travel (Mon – Thurs) on all cruise ferry services up to 30 June 2012. Must be booked a min of 7 days in advance of travel date and by the 27 Feb 2012.


Stena Line:

Travel by ferry to Ireland with the Irish Sea’s leading ferry company from only £79 single for a car plus driver. Speed across the Irish Sea from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire on our fastcraft or cruise over to Dublin City onboard one of our stylish Superferries.


NB: Please note that Dublin Port & Dun Laoghaire are 2 seperate ports of entry to Dublin. Important to note when looking at directions to the hotel 😉

Wheelchair friendly hotels:


Wheelchair friendly B & B’s:


Other B & B’s in the area:


Hotel Accommodation:

Clontarf Castle has offered a rate of 109 per room (single) & 119 per room (double). To obtain this rate please quote the ref code: TICK TALK IRELAND – Valid until 4th March 2012.

Other hotels in the area:

for more choices on accommodation please click here! 🙂

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Tick Talking While You’re Walking – Tick Survey Ireland


Since May 30 2011 we’ve been asking members of the republic to report on any ticks spotted here in Ireland. As of Dec 31, 2011 a total of 52 people have responded so far.

Results can be downloaded here:

Text results
Chart Results

Here are some of the interesting snippets from our survey:

County of residence of our respondents was as follows:

The majority of our responders (60%) reside in the West of Ireland, followed by 19% in the East, 10% in the Northern/Border counties & 4% in the midlands. 8% of responders though did not specify.

How many ticks were spotted on each occasion?

The majority of our responses (56%) spotted 1 or 2 ticks, 10% reported 3-5, 12% found 6-10 ticks, 6% found 11-20, 4% found 21-40 & a further 13% said they spotted ‘numerous’ ticks on each occasion.

As many types of animal can carry ticks including birds, mice, squirrels, hedgehogs, pets, farm animals as well deer this can increase the number of ticks being carried around on hosts. Smaller birds & mammals are ideal for the smaller nymph ticks, whereas adult ticks would target the larger group of animals. Female ticks can lay 2,000 eggs resulting in large numbers being found in one area. Humans become accidental hosts when the ticks look for a blood meal or can become infected when a pet carries a tick into the house.

Which month were ticks typically found?

The months of June/July were reportedly the most common with 38% of ticks spotted in June & 29% July. 13% of responders indicated they saw ticks throughout all of Spring & Summer.

It is important to note that children’s summer holidays falls at the same time ticks are most active therefore good prevention measures are needed both in the garden & whilst out playing or walking. Ticks can survive winter conditions if plenty of leaf litter is available on the ground. Very icy temperatures can knock back their numbers; however they are able to survive if there is snow on the ground which can act as an insulating layer.

Ticks prefer damp areas as they can dehydrate rapidly, so would typically be found in forested areas, tall grass that hasn’t been trimmed back during the summer, or autumn/winter leaf litter. Tips such as keeping grass closely cut during the summer, clearing leaf litter & trimming back edges of garden areas should help to prevent ticks coming into your area. Also use DEET on humans & tick repellants on animals before going out walking. Tucking trousers into socks whilst out rambling & regular tick checks can also go a long way to minimize the risk of tick-borne infections. Tick twisters are available on our site as well as tips for correct removal.

Enter the location your tick was found (by county)

67% of ticks were spotted in the West of Ireland, 15% in the East, 12% in Northern/Border Counties, 4% in the Midlands & 2% in Northern Ireland.

The most common area for ticks was an overwhelming 27% in Galway, 13% in Cork, 12% in Kerry, 10% Donegal & 8% in Mayo. The remainder were found (in ascending order); Wicklow, Wexford, Clare, Tipperary, Laois, Waterford, Sligo, Offaly, Kildare & Northern Ireland.

Which type of landscape were ticks found?

52% of ticks were found in tall grasses, 23% in private gardens.

The rest were found in forested & lakeside areas, heath land, national parks & sand dunes. Some reports of ticks were found on farms, public parks & in leaf litter, with some ticks being found in the house carried in by family pets.

What was the activity at the time of the bite/or when ticks were spotted?

50% of ticks were found whilst walking, 17% whilst gardening.

The rest were found whilst camping, farming & hunting. There were some reports of children picking up ticks whilst out playing or some ticks were found on return from brownie or scout meets.

Where was the tick found? (i.e. pet, adult or child?)

54% of ticks were found on adults, 33% on a dog & 21% on children.
Some reported ticks found in pet beds, in carpeting or on the family sofa.

Was the tick attached when found?

92% of people reported that the ticks were attached to the skin when found (ie embedded).

8% reported that the tick was found crawling over the skin (but NOT embedded).

46% of our respondents who had an embedded tick noticed that the tick was engorged when found, which indicates the tick has been feeding for some time. This greatly increases the chance of transmission of Lyme Disease if the tick was in fact infected with Lyme causing (borrelia) bacteria.

How was the tick removed?

46% of people used fingernails to remove the tick, 34% used tweezers, 4% use tick twisters, 2% asked a GP or nurse to help remove the tick & 2% asked a vet for assistance..

The remainder used Vaseline or nail varnish to remove the embedded tick. A cotton thread was also used which is handy tip if tweezers or a tick twister is unavailable. Loop the cotton thread around the head of the tick close to the skin & pull upwards slowly, making sure to remove the head cleanly.

NB: For correct tick removal please go to http://ticktalkireland.org/ Incorrect removal can increase your chance of infection

Please find below a few places that were mentioned in our tick survey:

In Donegal a resident found approx 10 ticks throughout the months of May, June & July. Ticks were found on 2 adults & pets as well as being brought into the house
40 ticks were reported as being spotted in Ards Forest Park, Donegal during the month of July
A child was bitten by a tick in Country Donegal after a day out on the beach & countryside. The tick was engorged when found in June
A tick was found on a child after visiting a national park in Armagh in May
8 ticks were found on an adult & a dog whilst gardening in Sligo (June 2011)
A dog walker has reported more than 20 ticks found whilst out walking in Ofally, during the months of May & June
2 or more ticks have been seen every month in a garden in County Laois (2010/2011)
3 were found in Waterford whilst out gardening (July 2011)
A tick was found on a child after visiting Bray Head in County Wicklow in June
One walker reported ‘lots’ of ticks spotted whilst walking in Mayo in July, some ticks were found attached to the skin
Numerous ticks were found in a forested area in Ballinrobe area, Co. Mayo during the months of June & July
A group of 21 travelling in the Burren area & Aran Islands reported spotting 4 ticks (July 2011)
10 ticks were found on a sheep farm in Tipperary (June)
A child on a farm in County Clare had an engorged tick (June)
More than 15 ticks were found on a dog after exploring land in County Cork (Feb 2011)
A resident in County Cork has found ticks many times in the garden throughout 2000-2011 & have been bitten on several occasions
30 ticks were found whilst camping in Killarney, Co. Kerry. Some ticks were engorged when found (June 2011), 2 more were reported in Killarney in Oct 2010
A 4 year old child was bitten by a tick in County Kerry whilst out playing in June
A walker & pet owner reported several ticks found in Ross Island & Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry during the months of May to August 2011. Some ticks were attached when found
A walker found numerous ticks in Waterville, Kerry during the summer months among ferns in a mountainous area
Another child was affected whilst playing in a garden in Galway (June)
Several ticks have been found in County Galway whilst gardening at various times through the year
A resident in West of Galway is reporting 2 or 3 ticks found weekly whilst walking their dog since April 2011
A walker found 12 ticks on themselves & their family pet after a trip to Portumna Forest (Co. Galway) in July
Inisheer (Aran Islands) Galway: 10 ticks spotted whilst out camping (July 2011)
Another 6 were found by a resident whilst walking in gardens in West Galway in June & another reported more than 10 ticks found in humans, pets & in the house in Galway in May

Vet Study


In the summer of 2011 we asked vets to report on how many ticks were seen on companion & farm animals in Ireland. We received only 7 responses; however a summary is available as follows:

How many ticks were found on each occasion?

57% found between 1-2 ticks
29% found between 3-10 ticks
14% found between 21-30 ticks

What type of animal were ticks found (including pets as well as farm animals)?

86% ticks were found on dogs, the remainder on a cat & cattle

What was the reason for the vet visit at the time?

57% of pets were brought in for routine vaccinations when the ticks were reported
29% of owners had bought the animal in for tick removal
14% animals brought in during ill health

If ill-health, which tick-borne illness did you suspect?

The vet suspected louping ill / babesiosis & ehrlichiosis, this was not confirmed by testing however at the time of the survey

In Summary
The survey identifies that vets & the general public are spotting many ticks at one time, for instance 56% our public responders spotted 1-2 ticks, with the rest spotting many more. Similarly, 57% of our vet respondents spotted 1-2 ticks on each occasion, whilst the remainder spotted more.

It is important to note from both the general public & vet studies that dogs are a greater risk for bringing ticks into close vicinity to humans. They like to brush past tall grasses & ticks can be easily latched in their fur. Although there are some great tick repellants products available, they are designed to repel not actually kill the ticks & some are less effective than others at deterring them, therefore extra vigilance is required when walking your pet in the countryside. If a tick does latch onto the dog it may be brought into your home & land on bedding, furniture or feed on the dog & drop off into the garden – an added danger when an adult tick is ready to lay its eggs. Routine tick checks will help to minimize the risk of tick-borne infections being passed onto you or your dog. Signs of Lyme infection in pets can include lameness & fatigue. For details on how to protect your family from tick-borne infections, check out our downloadable leaflet or feel free to contact us for a bulk order of leaflets for your local vet, library, hospital, church, walking or sports club. The HSE also has tips on how to best protect the family from Lyme Disease. The true incidence of Lyme Disease is currently unknown in Ireland; from September 2011 it has now been classed as a notifiable disease which will be helpful in tracking suspected numbers across Ireland.

We have published some recent figures from our Lyme in Ireland survey (see below) showing how the illness can affect patients & the problems they face with regards to testing & treatment.

Lyme Disease in Ireland – Survey


In 2009, Tick Talk Ireland produced a survey to Irish sufferers.

To qualify, the respondent must be a Lyme sufferer who is:

* Living in Ireland – infected by Lyme here or abroad or
* Not living in Ireland – but infected within Irish Counties

27 people replied to the survey during the months of July and August 2009:-
59 people replied to the survey from July 2009 to December 2011:-

Results can be downloaded here:

Text results
Chart results

All our surveys are still ongoing, updates will follow periodically!

Tick Talk Ireland, Charity 19588: web: www.ticktalkireland.org

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Breaking News – New Survey Released for UK & Ireland

This is a survey by an independent group of researchers, led by Kate Bloor. She is fully registered with the Social Research Association, and this project adheres to their ethical guidelines.

Information about the full purpose of the research and a paper copy can be made available on request.

To sign up to join the on-line survey, please use the link below. I can also send you a copy of the paper version in the post, if you provide an address.If you were part of the ‘pilot’ study please fill in the form again, as it has changed slightly.

Click here to take survey
NB: Survey has now been completed, click here for results

If there are several people at the same IP address who wish to fill in the form, let me know and I can arrange that. Once the link is used once it becomes inactive so you need to ask for a new link.

You can opt for continued contact about the research on the form. Any personal details sent directly to me, by email will be deleted after the survey is finished (as per ethical guidelines).

Recruiting others

We need to recruit people far and wide, including those who might not be on websites, have been treated and are better, those who were treated quickly etc. However, its important to approach other people in the right way for ethical reasons.

Ask their permission, and then either I can send you a link to pass onto them, or with their permission I can send it directly to them by email.

If you want an example of the kind of research that has been done, please find the link below.


Many thanks for your help and interest.
Kate Bloor
Email: lymeresearchuk@btinternet.com

Find Lyme Research UK on


For more information about this project go to: https://ticktalkireland.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/lyme-research/

New Merchandise available for Christmas:

Check out our awareness ribbons, bracelets, bangles, computer bugs & the all important tick twister.

Special offer running from now until 31st December 2011:

From now until Christmas we are having a special promotion to encourage donations to Tick Talk, if you know of anyone who maybe interested please pass the word 🙂

* Donate 10 euro or more & receive a free ‘find a cure’ lyme green bangle.
* Donate 15 euro or more & receive a free pack of 2 tick twisters.
* Donate 25 euro or more & receive both items.

Offer to end 31st December.

Please visit the bottom of our merchandise page for details on how to donate (using paypal). For cheque donations contact us for mailing details. http://ticktalkireland.org/merchandise.html

Details of how we aim to use the funds can be found at: http://ticktalkireland.org/whatwedo.html

We are planning more tick sweeps plus our very first Lyme conference for the new year, more details to follow..

The image above (click to enlarge) shows the results of our very 1st tick sweep in Ireland. More than 15 ticks were readily found in the picnic area of Portumna Forest, County Galway. More sweeps will take place in the following year, we will be looking for infections that the ticks may carry. If you have spotted ticks in Ireland please complete our survey (Tick Talking while You’re Walking) at http://www.ticktalkireland.org/surveys.html

Thank you so much for your support.

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Can You Help Us?

Tick Talk Ireland are collaborating with a new group of researcher’s drawn from the lyme community, academia and medicine, called ‘LymeResearchUk and Ireland’.

This team have designed a piece of research, on the experiences of people affected by tick-borne infections in the UK, and Ireland. This work will be the first in-depth work looking at these experiences and issues, that reflect on the policy and practice for Lyme disease in the UK.

Their website can be found at: http://lymeresearchuk.org/

Kate Bloor – project co-ordinator
further enquiries: lymeresearchuk@btinternet.com

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