Tick-Borne Infections in the North Sea Region - A Competence Network to Improve Public Service Delivery based on a One Health Perspective

The overall aim of NorthTick is to reduce the number of tick-borne infections in humans and animals as well as to cure and delimit the suffering among humans and animals affected by tick-borne infections in the North Sea region.

Ticks are the most important vectors for transmitting diseases in Northern Europe. During the last decades, ticks carrying disease-causing microorganisms have increased in numbers and spread to new areas. The number of people and animals afflicted by tick-borne infections are on the rise. The reasons are complex and may include climate change, increased urbanisation and other human influences on ecosystems.

It is challenging for health services and authorities to be updated on optimal strategies for prevention and management of Borrelia infections, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and other emerging tick-borne microorganisms and infections, and to give adequate information to a concerned public. NorthTick aims to meet these challenges, by providing a multi-disciplinary and transnational joint effort to improve public health service delivery regarding risk assessment, efficient preventive measures, optimal diagnostic strategies and best patient management recommendations. NorthTick will enhance cooperation between academic institutions, national/regional health authorities, patient organizations and other NGOs, industry and policy makers.

The NorthTick consortium contains 11 partner organizations from seven different countries inside the North Sea Region: Region Västra Götaland, Region Jönköpings län (Sweden), Roskilde University, Rigshospitalet (Denmark), Sørlandet sykehus, Flåttsenteret (Norway), Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (Germany), University of Antwerp (Belgium), University of Aberdeen, NHS Highland (United Kingdom), Amsterdam UMC and National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Netherlands). Region Jönköpings län (Sweden) is the lead partner and coordinator of the project. Each of these partners takes the lead in a different aspect within the NorthTick project. At the University of Antwerp we are focusing on the risk assessment element by studying the distribution of ticks and prevalence of tick-borne microorganisms with a citizen science project in gardens across Flanders:  Teek a Break

This project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and runs 2019-2023.

For more information, please contact Erik Matthysen