Assessing an artificial tick feeding system as a tool in the study of borrelia-tick interactions

Ticks, especially Ixodes ricinus, transmit many pathogens to humans and (domestic) animals. One group of pathogens transmitted are from the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex, the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis.
Although the interaction between ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. has been studied in the past, the exact interactions remain a mystery. This project aims to better understand the transmission dynamics of Borreliaburgdorferi s.l. and its tick vector. For this purpose, we will use artificial tick feeding. This approach will prevent the use of laboratory animals, as was often used in the past.
We are conducting this project with Dr. Vanda Klöcklerová from the Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia. Dr. Klöcklerová is the project coordinator. The project starts on March 4, 2024, and will run until February 28, 2025.
The project is funded by SAIA, Aktion Österreich – Slowakei (Project no. 2023-10-15-006)