Tickborne Diseases

An adult and juvenile deer tick

An adult and juvenile deer tick, or blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, near a U.S. dime.

Credit: NIAID

The incidence of tickborne infections in the United States has risen significantly within the past decade. Due to this increase, it is becoming more important that public health officials and scientists improve their understanding of pathogenesis, design improved diagnostics, and develop preventive vaccines for tickborne illnesses.

Why Is the Study of Tickborne Diseases a Priority for NIAID?

Tickborne diseases are becoming a serious problem in this country as people increasingly build homes in formerly uninhabited wilderness areas where ticks and their animal hosts live. Tickborne diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Most people become infected through tick bites during the spring and summer months.

How Is NIAID Addressing This Critical Topic?

Scientists are searching for better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent tickborne diseases. They are also looking for ways to control the tick populations that transmit microbes.

To learn about risk factors for tickborne diseases and current prevention and treatment strategies visit the MedlinePlus tick bite site.

Disease-Specific Research

NIAID supported research for tickborne diseases ranges from studying the basic biology of the microbes that cause these diseases to developing vaccines and better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent the diseases.

Content last reviewed on November 20, 2017