Do you want to help scientists with their research? From time to time, researchers put out calls for volunteers to assist them with moving their projects forward. Whenever I come across an opportunity for Canadians to participate in tick-borne illness research, I'll list them below. Here are a few current opportunities:
Manitoba Lyme & Tick Borne Illness Group Lyme and Tick Borne Illness Survey
Any Canadian who has been impacted by Lyme disease is encouraged to fill out this confidential survey. Its goal is to lay the foundation for a more comprehensive survey participants can elect to fill out later this year.
Queen's University Online Survey
If you are Canadian, over 18 years old, and have been bitten by a tick, Emilie Norris-Roozmon, a graduate student in the biology department at Queen’s University, is inviting you to fill out an online survey describing your symptoms, experiences with healthcare practitioners, and any diagnoses you may have received in relation to your tick bite.
New Brunswick Tick Proofing Project Seeking Volunteers
Public assistance in research initiatives is being solicited by the New Brunswick Tick Proofing project. One way the project plans to use citizen scientists is to have them act as tick monitors. Other opportunities will be announced soon. Any one in New Brunswick who is interested in volunteering their time to assist in tick research is asked to make contact.
eTick.ca Photo Submission Platform
If you live in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, or Saskatchewan, you can submit photos of your ticks to the eTick.ca photo submission platform for expert identification. An eTick app is also now available on Apple's App Store and GoolePlay, so you can now submit a photo in real-time. The growing dataset will benefit scientific research.
Pet Tick Tracker
Operated by Scott Weese and Katie Clow of the Ontario Veterinary College along with Michelle Evason of the Atlantic Veterinary College, the Pet Tick Tracker allows Canadian pet owners to submit the ticks they remove from their companion animals in an effort to monitor changes in tick populations in this country.
Mount Allison University - Lloyd Tick Lab
Anyone can send ticks the Lloyd Tick Lab for for research purposes. Ticks are tested for Borrelia bacteria in batches, so it can take weeks for results to be returned and there is a small fee for testing. Both the ticks and their DNA are entered into the Mount Allison Tick Bank to be used in the lab's research projects.
Janet Sperling, Tick Researcher, University of Alberta
Anyone can submit ticks that will be used in microbiome research. Send email to get details.
Passive Tick Surveillance Programs
Below are provincial passive surveillance programs that accept ticks for testing. Please keep in mind that this testing is done for research purposes only. Any concerns you have that you, your family, or your pets may have been exposed to Lyme bacteria should be referred to your doctor.
Alberta residents can submit ticks found on humans to their local Alberta Health Services Environmental Health Office. Ticks found on pets can be submitted to a veterinarian. Anyone living in a First Nations community in Alberta can submit ticks to their community health centre.
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) tests ticks collected from humans for free, but only if they have been submitted by a physician or public health professional. Ticks collected from pets can be submitted to the BCCDC by veterinarians for identification and Borrelia testing and there is a fee.
Manitoba residents can submit photos of ticks collected from humans or animals to the Passive Blacklegged Tick Surveillance Program where they will be identified by an expert. Those experts may request that the actual tick be submitted for further identification or testing.
New Brunswick residents are encouraged to submit photos of ticks through eTick.ca.
Newfoundland & Labrador
Newfoundland & Labrador residents can submit ticks collected from humans and pets to the Animal Health Laboratory.
Nova Scotia residents are encouraged to to submit photos of ticks through eTick.ca.
Public Health Ontario accepts ticks collected from humans as long as they have been submitted by public health units or health care practitioners. Ticks collected from pets should be taken to a veterinarian.
Prince Edward Island
Ticks collected from humans can be submitted to any hospital on the island. Ticks collected from pets should be take to a veterinarian.
Quebec residents are encouraged to submit photos of ticks through eTick.ca. Ticks collected from humans can be submitted for testing by health care professionals. Ticks collected from pets should be take to a veterinarian.
Saskatchewan residents are encouraged to submit photos of ticks through eTick.ca. Submission of the physical tick may be requested following initial identification.