As part of a study on the presence of pathogens in ticks in Belgium, the Belgian Health Institute, Sciensano, is seeking to collect as many ticks as possible that have bitten people (and NOT animals).
The aim of the study is to increase the knowledge about the presence of bacteria or parasites in ticks (Borrelia burgdorferi sl., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia miyamotoi, Rickettsia spp., Neoerlichia mikurensis, Babesia and tick-borne encephalitis virus), in the different provinces.
The tick collection will take place from 1 April to 31 October 2022.
In order to have enough ticks, we ask you to send us the ticks you have removed from your skin. We do not collect ticks from animals or from the wild.
- Remove an attached tick as quickly as possible, using tick forceps or fine tweezers, without compressing the back of the tick.
- Stick the tick (alive or dead) wit ha transparent sticky paper on a white sheet of paper or postcard
- Answer some questions by clicking on the button at the end of the page. You will then not have to report the tick bite separately on the TickNet homepage.
- At the end of the questionnaire, if you click on "Submit", you will receive an individual reference number, which you should write on the card or sheet with the tick. This number will allow us to link the results of the tests on your tick with the information collected. Without this information, we will unfortunately not be able to include your tick in the study.
- Insert the card or sheet in a standard envelope. You do not need to put a stamp on the card or sheet, just write down precisely (and word for word) the information below in the place of the address:
Rue Groeselenberg 99
- Deposit the envelope as soon as possible (preferably within 48 hours) in a post office letter box.
You can send several ticks in one envelope (with the same reference number), if the bites are from a single exposure.
The ticks will only be analysed at the end of the study period (end of 2021). Therefore, we cannot give you a personal result on whether or not the tick you send us contains pathogens. This has no medical implications, as the detection or non-detection of a pathogen in the tick does not determine whether you need treatment or not. If the tick carries a pathogen, it does not necessarily mean that the pathogen is also transmitted; and even if you are infected (transmission of the pathogen), it does not necessarily mean that you will show signs of the disease that will require treatment. However, if you develop symptoms after a tick bite (a spreading red ring or flu-like symptoms), you should consult your doctor.
The overall results of the study will be published on the TickNet website during 2023.