“ScandTick” brings together Scandinavian partners to tackle tick-borne infections

The ScandTick project is an important example of cross-border cooperation in the field of health. It brings together partners from Denmark, Sweden and Norway in order to fight the incidence and spread of tick-borne infections.

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Presentation on ticks and tick-borne bacteria at the ScandTick closing conference. © Stine Grimsrud Presentation on ticks and tick-borne bacteria at the ScandTick closing conference. © Stine Grimsrud

" The project focuses on two human tick-borne diseases of increasing importance in the ÖKS region: Borreliosis and Tick-borne encephalitis. Through regional cooperation, we have provided data for risk analysis through detection of these two microbes in ticks in the environment and through improved diagnostics in humans. The results were widely covered by media in the region. "

Tomas Bergström, ScandTick Project Director

The project is undertaking a range of activities. Foremost amongst these are compilation, review and evaluation of diagnostic methods used to detect Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, as well as a prevalence survey of infected ticks in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The results are to be used to improve implementation of preventative measures and to formulate sustainable ways of sharing information on tick-borne diseases.

Four work packages with specific objectives

A large number of institutions from around the Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak (ÖKS) region are involved in ScandTick. This is in line with a key aim of the project, namely to promote cross-border cooperation in the region.

ScandTick comprises four work packages. The project management and internal communication package is designed to ensure effective communication among project partners and also some external parties, such as health authorities and professionals. The method development package is aimed at obtaining reliable and comparable bacteria test results, and entails comparison and evaluation of different methods, as well as coordination, optimisation and standardisation of diagnostic tools.

Multi-country effort

Environmental assessment work covers collection and analysis of ticks from different parts of participating countries in order to assess prevalence of ticks and tick-borne diseases, and to provide a basis for vaccine recommendations. It also includes a survey to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding exposure to ticks, as well as tick-borne diseases so as to improve public health information.

The communication and information package is aimed at facilitating cooperation within and between countries in the ÖKS-region, and includes development of models for information exchange, particularly through web pages and social media.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “ScandTick” is EUR 1 869 143, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 515 350 from the Operational Programme “Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date