Ticks are more present in France, in part because of global warming. Their bite is fearsome because it can transmit Lyme disease, which can have serious consequences to the neurological level. In France the number of cases increases, and amounts to 50 cases per 100 000 inhabitants since 2016.
A variety of tick, already observed in the south of France, might also transmit the hemorrhagic fever Crimean-Congo.
Or do we more likely to find them ? In the warm areas ? Wild ? Wet ? Science has recourse to the collaboration of citizen to better understand their behavior. The INRAE, the national research Institute for agriculture, food and environment has developed a mobile application that allows citizens to map the presence of this mite. This collaboration has allowed the light of several very important data for the prevention.
The participatory research to better understand the dangers in France
A mapping of tick bites can not only know where the one is likely to encounter ticks, but also the behavior and the impact of ticks in France. The project, called Citique , has been launched in 2017 by the INRAE for citizens to be involved, but it was only available on an Internet site. The INRAE has just launched a new phase of the project, with a mobile app modern available on IOS and Android, which improves a lot the user experience, a criterion which is central to a collaborative project and participatory citizen.
A “ticotheque” available research
Once the application is downloaded, an identification number 6-digit connects each tick reported to the information given by users when they report a bite : the date, the area of the body bitten, the number of ticks implanted, location of the bite, type of environment, because of the presence on the place of sting (walk, work…), photo of the sting and/or the tick.
Having these information (characteristics of the tick and context of the sting), allows researchers to have useful information to advance research, and develop a “tiquothèque”, which is available on the national and international scientific community.
No need to leave your home to have Lyme disease
Several findings provide new crop awareness-raising actions. The application would have helped to know that spring and autumn are the seasons most conducive to pitting. The collection of collaborative data would have also allowed to analyze the content of the infectious tick, and shows a broad geographic distribution of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (15% of the ticks analyzed throughout the territory are carriers of this bacteria) responsible for Lyme disease in France.
Finally, crowdsourcing has revealed that a third of the bites took place in private gardens or public parks, which is extremely useful for the prevention strategy, which has been mainly focused on the hikes or outings in the forest.
In addition, the application allows you to report tick bites in pets, given crucial because dogs and cats are beginning to be pricked 3 to 4 weeks before the human in an area of signaling data.
If you want to participate in the research for better prevention of Lyme disease, it is possible from your mobile, by downloading the application Citique.