Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Clinical Review

Tick bite prevention and tick removal

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 09 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7123

Rapid Response:

Re: Tick bite prevention and tick removal

Ideally a tick removal device should be geared towards someone with no prior experience of use and involve as little physical contact with the animal is possible; think young mother with screaming child rather than practiced country doctor or veterinarian. Making a mess of removal can be worse than leaving the tick on, since it can exacerbate the risk of transmission. People also need to be aware that removal of the tick may be largely cosmetic if it's been there for a while - the damage will already have been done if it's infected with Borrelia or another parasite. They and their GPs need to be vigilant for symptoms of Lyme disease. Better awareness (and easy, readily accessible tools) are key.

Competing interests: Developing a new device and service to detect infection in ticks

11 December 2013
John Bruce Alexander
Xeroshield Ltd.
Roslin Biocentre, Roslin EH25 9PP