Welcome to Lyme Disease in Canada

“If you present with early Lyme disease, the recommendation is not to test but to treat because we know that the testing is not sensitive.”
~ Todd Hatchette, Service Chief, Division of Microbiology, Nova Scotia Health Authority

“Over the past 25 years that I've been working on tick populations I’ve learned a heck of a lot.”
~ John Scott, independent tick researcher, Fergus, ON

“It’s presently unclear how ticks actually smell.”
~ Nicoletta Faraone, Chemistry Department, Acadia University

“These people are in distress and we need to help them.”
~ Odette Gould, Maritime Lyme Disease Research Network

“The key drivers for ticks are small rodent populations that are increasing and there is some speculation that’s due to earthworms moving into these forests.”
~ Sandy Smith, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto

“Essentially we’re saying that we expect this northern shift [of blacklegged ticks] within a fairly rapid timeframe.”
~ David Lieske, Geospatial Modelling Lab, Mount Allison University

“These ticks are carrying an awful lot of organisms and we need to know what types so that we can target what doctors need to focus on.”
~ Janet Sperling, tick researcher, Tick Microbiome Initiative

"If everyone is working from the same baseline information we can perhaps start to move forward to dealing with this disease.”
~ Vett Lloyd, co-founder, Maritime Lyme Disease Research Network

"We just try to understand how the bacteria travel through the bloodstream and how they kind of latch onto the edges of the blood vessels so they can escape into tissues and cause Lyme disease.”
~ Tara Moriarty, Moriarty Pathogen Intravital Imaging Laboratory, University of Toronto

“We need significant work to educate physicians both in the front lines — emergency medicine and primary care — as well as our specialist colleagues regarding the myriad of signs and symptoms that Lyme disease can present as.”
~ Kieran Moore, Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network

“Even if it didn’t cause a disease, [Borrelia burgdorferi] is one of the most fascinating organisms I’ve encountered.”
~ George Chaconas, former Canada Research Chair in Lyme Borreliosis, University of Calgary

“[Blacklegged ticks] spend about 2% of their lives questing and feeding. The rest of the time it’s down in the leaf litter layer of the forest.”
~ Katie Clow, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph

“For approximately every 100 dogs that become positive for [Lyme] bacteria, about 10 of those will go on to develop clinical disease signs.”
~ Michelle Evason, associate professor, Atlantic Veterinary College

“I think we’re really up against a master. It’s going to take a lot of brain power to try to outwit these tricky little guys.”
~ Janet Sperling, board member, Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

“Twenty-five years ago, they were telling us it’s too cold up there for these ticks to survive or establish themselves. But that’s one of the myths I’ve disproven.”
~ John Scott, independent tick researcher, Fergus, ON

“We can’t say that the risk outside of the identified zones is zero and we certainly can’t forget that these ticks are moving north.” 
~ David Lieske, Mount Allison University Geospatial Modelling Lab

“You're talking to someone who is not a fan of deer.”
~ Sandy Smith, Department of Forestry, University of Toronto

“I suspect that a lot of physicians are feeling torn in that they really want to help the patient and either they don’t have the tools or the information to do that.”
~ Odette Gould, Department of Psychology, Mount Allison University

“I call [Borrelia burgdorferi] a strange visitor from another planet because it’s so different from other organisms that we typically encounter.”
~ George Chaconas, Microbial Research Group, University of Calgary

"The seasons are longer, the numbers of [blacklegged] ticks are increasing and the proportion that are infected is increasing.”
~ Nick Ogden, research scientist, National Microbiology Laboratory