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Australia: Pittwater Council asks residents to pull out your bag of ticks

Campers stand at the edge of the water at sunset watching the stars come out, with the CanLyme logo floating in the foreground.


While ticks are usually best avoided, Pittwater Council is extending a request from Sydney University to ask residents to keep and freeze the little crawlers.

The university is currently three years into a national study into pathogens in ticks, and research fellow Ann Mitrovic said the northern beaches was particularly forthcoming with specimens.

A brown dog tick.

A brown dog tick.

“I have a freezer full of ticks,” Dr Mitrovic said.

“I live in North Balgowlah and I’m always getting neighbours popping in or getting them off my kids.

“It’s a curious thing to be sent envelopes full of frozen ticks.”

Dr Mitrovic said the study is trying to detect bacterial pathogens in local ticks.

The research is building on a study from 1994 of 12,000 ticks that did not find the bacteria that caused Lyme disease.

Dr Mitrovic said the study was originally looking for the bacteria that caused the American Lyme disease, it had been widened to look for all manner of Borrelia bacteria.

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