In November 2019, About Time for Lyme attended a workshop held by NIHR's Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections to review work underway on Lyme and TBDs and to 'discuss how to address some of the research gaps that remain'.
You can see a summary of the 2 day workshop here.
Day 1 of the workshop was attended by researchers and health professionals, but did not include the participation of UK charities/patient groups. On day 2, representatives of 8 charities participated, sharing their research and experience.
We felt that this was an important event and we were encouraged by the productive exchange of insights and ideas. While there was a feeling among charities that inclusion on day 1 would have been preferable in order to achieve further progress, the benefits of a collaborative approach were evident on day 2.
Despite insightful discussion on a number of areas of concern regarding tick-borne diseases - with the charities highlighting the cost to human quality of life - the primary focus of research emphasised in the final report continues to be in the area of tick ecology. While further data in this area will undoubtedly be essential, it is crucial to address the research gaps relating to diagnosis and treatment. The collaborative approach fostered at this workshop yielded some important discussions, which can hopefully be elaborated and acted upon in the future.