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Lyme disease (LD) is an emerging serious and preventable microbial threat that is now the most common tick-borne illness in Canada. Many critical knowledge gaps exist in Canada including: conflicting views on the natural history of disease, including the impact that LD strains have on the effectiveness of current diagnostic tests and on disease clinical presentation and patient outcomes, and lack of evidence on prevention/intervention strategies to reduce risk and long-term sequelae. Further, training and education of healthcare providers (HCP) is required to improve awareness and understanding of LD.
In response to the CIHR call to create a Canadian LD Research Network we are proposing a multidisciplinary, patient-centered research program, from discovery to implementation, with the ultimate vision of reducing the impact of LD on the health of Canadians. The Network will integrate researchers, patients, HCPs, public health & non-researcher stakeholders into the planning, advisory, and oversight capacities of all research activities to create short and long-term outcomes that are specific, measurable, accountable and transparent. Solutions and strategies will be developed by facilitating engagement across stakeholder groups. Patient engagement will be guided by provincial Strategy for Patient Oriented-Research (SPOR) units and patient/citizen engagement experts. Training and development of highly qualified personnel will be integrated across all research areas. We will accomplish our vision by creating foundational resources and spearheading new research initiatives.
A fund has been established to enhance teaching and scholarly activity, purchase equipment, and support research related to Lyme Disease. All donations will support the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University.