University's £2.5m research to prevent diseases spread by ticks

A STUDY has been launched which could help put an end to some of the miseries of camping and hiking.

Edinburgh University is set to embark on a 2.5 million programme to prevent diseases spread by ticks. The research bid comes as health risks posed by the insects are increasing, with those keen on the rural outdoors particularly affected.

Conditions such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis - an allergy-like swelling of the brain - will all be the subject of the work.

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Project leader Prof John Fazakerley said: "Tick-transmitted infections are likely to be increasingly important in the future. Understanding these diseases and training scientists to undertake research is important for both human and animal health."

Because of changing climate patterns, it means Scotland is experiencing higher levels of ticks than normal.

But the problem in central Europe, in countries such as Germany and Croatia, is far worse with an almost tropical climate occurring in summer.