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Signalement-Tique app

A new smartphone app to understand and prevent Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases

Signalement-Tique is a free app available now for download on iOS and Android smartphones. INRA and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), together with France’s Ministry for Solidarity and Health, are seeking volunteers to participate in research in the fight against ticks and tick-borne diseases.

Updated on 07/31/2017
Published on 07/18/2017

The app collects data on a scale not previously possible. Users can report a tick bite, or a tick bite on their pet, geotag its location, submit photographs and even send the ticks to research teams. Volunteers and scientists work together to collect the data necessary to improve our understanding and prevention of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

Ticks are the leading vector for disease in animals and the number two vector for disease in humans, after mosquitos. In humans, ticks are notably responsible for transmitting the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, with approximately 27,000 new cases reported every year in France.

Since the 2000s, ANSES, INRA and the National Veterinary School of Alfort have been carrying out research on ticks through ANSES’ Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Animal Health and INRA Nancy-Lorraine’s Tous Chercheurs Laboratory. The research brings together fundamental research and participatory research with volunteers to improve our understanding of tick-borne pathogens and, in turn, how better to combat them.

As a part of a project called CITIQUE, researchers worked together with scientific partners, in particular the National Centre for Expertise on Vectors (CNEV) and the National Borrelia Reference Centre, and the Ministry of Solidarity and Health to develop a website and smartphone application known as Signalement-Tique. The application is available for download from the Apple AppStore and Google PlayStore.

Users can use the handy, interactive app to get information, wherever they are, about how to prevent and deal with tick bites. The app will make it possible to create maps identifying where tick encounters take place, which will be used to inform preventative action.

The Signalement-Tique app will collect data on a scale not previously possible

The data collected from the app will foster scientific understanding of tick-borne diseases. The data will increase our knowledge of these diseases and improve their prevention, particularly by developing better risk assessment models. Volunteers participating in the project will play a key role in the work and will contribute to answers on a wide range of questions, including: Do tick bites occur in winter and summer, outside of the peak spring and autumn tick seasons? Is there a time of day when ticks are most active or bite more often? Are bites more likely to occur in forests, urban parks or in our gardens? What pathogens are most common in ticks? In which regions? App users will then have access to useful information and advice on what to do in case of tick bites.

The Signalement-Tique app allows people to be better informed of the risks of associated with ticks while at the same time contributing actively to scientific research.

. © INRA
. © INRA
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