Lyme disease research and funding announcement

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On October 15, 2018, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced the launch of the Pan-Canadian Research Network on Lyme Disease and an additional five projects through the Infectious Diseases and Climate Change Fund to address Lyme disease.

These investments from the Government of Canada are part of Budget 2017’s commitment to supporting the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Pan-Canadian Research Network on Lyme Disease

Dr. Kieran Moore from Queen’s University will lead the Research Network comprising of Lyme disease stakeholders, such as researchers, clinicians and patients. The total amount of federal funding for this Research Network is $4 million—a maximum of $1 million per year for four years.

The Pan-Canadian Research Network on Lyme Disease will:

  1. Build a national network on Lyme disease to facilitate and support national collaboration among Lyme disease stakeholders (researchers, clinicians and patients) in resource and knowledge sharing in order to: 
    • Mobilize, strengthen and build capacity in the Lyme disease research community.
    • Develop innovative multidisciplinary curricula and training opportunities for students and professionals.
    • Facilitate and support translation and dissemination of new knowledge from bench to bedside to population in order to:
      • improve clinical science and practice;  
      • foster policy changes, leading to transformative and measureable improvements in the development and implementation of evidence-informed practices, policies, services, products and programs; 
      • improve patient outcomes, access to care and quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care. 
  2. Develop a national cohort of patients in order to better understand the association between serological and clinical phenomenology of Lyme disease on a longitudinal basis (including a biobank creation and maintenance). 

Public Health Agency of Canada’s Infectious Disease and Climate Change Program – Lyme disease projects

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing more than $1.25 million for five projects that will help advance surveillance and monitoring as well as education and awareness regarding Lyme disease.

Projects announced today include:

  • $28,600 for Conseil des Abénakis de Wôlinak to conduct research and address Lyme disease in the Abenaki First Nations reserve of Wôlinak
  • $55,632 to Mount Allison University for field surveillance of tick populations through citizen science partnerships as a means for acquiring high-density data, community surveillance data and facilitating community education
  • $496,243 for the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing to empower the next generation of health care professionals with knowledge, skills, tools and supports to address infectious diseases related to climate change in Canada
  •  $477,149 for Bishops University for citizen-based surveillance of Ixodes scapularis and other ticks in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick using eTick.ca, a web platform dedicated to image-based tick identification
  • $195,782 for the Centre for Effective Practice to develop a Lyme disease technical toolkit for family physicians

These investments build on the Government of Canada’s efforts to address Lyme disease through education and awareness, national surveillance, laboratory testing and research.