Lyme Borreliosis (LB) is transmitted to humans by tick bites and if untreated can cause serious disease. The South Downs National Park (SDNP) has been highlighted as including two of the ten areas in England and Wales where infection with LB is most frequent. However no survey of LB hazard, or the factors affecting it, has been carried out across the Park.
From studies elsewhere the extent of LB hazard is known to be linked to complex systems involving mammals, birds, ticks and the bacteria that cause LB. Different landscape features, such as woodland or sheep grazed grassland, affect these systems but it is unclear how, especially in Southern England.
See more information on the British Deer Society website
This project will run from September 2014 - September 2016
The study will map where the ticks and bacteria that cause LB are distributed across the SDNP. It will identify the extent of hazard and some environmental factors that affect it. It will examine whether deer populations decrease a newly discovered disease hazard (Borrelia miyamotoi). It will determine which animals feed and/or infect ticks with the bacteria that causes LB. It will summarise and evaluate suggested ‘one-health’ (integrated livestock, wildlife and human health) methods to decrease LB risk and suggest actions within the SDNP and where reasonable more generally.
The project is currently ongoing. More information will be available on completion.
Dr Anja Rott
Dr Ian Cooper
Output to follow on completion of the project
Funding for consumables from NINEVEH Charitable Trust & British Deer Society;
Specimens collection in part courtesy of British Deer Society