The TickTag Project aims to identify the endemic tick-borne pathogens Babesia divergens (causing redwater fever) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causing tick-borne fever) while also attempting to identify emerging pathogens, for example Theileria. The outcome of the project will be a greater understanding of the tick-borne pathogens present in Scottish livestock and the development of improved methods for their diagnosis.
The livestock sector is important to Scotland's economy, with a combined output of over one billion pounds in 2011. Tick-borne disease has a significant impact on the sector, with over 50% of Scotland's agricultural land classed as rough grazing where the tick Ixodes ricinus flourishes. Tick-borne disease is an additional burden on the producer attempting to maintain a sustainable business in the face of larger economic and environmental pressures.
The project involves collaboration between the University of Glasgow, Moredun Research Institute, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), veterinary surgeons in farm animal practice, and producers. The Scottish Government, through it's Strategic Partnership for Animal Science Excellence (SPASE), provides our funding.