Date published: 
5 January 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Liberal National Government will provide $3 million for two studies that aims to reduce the debilitating symptoms attributed to tick bites.

Thousands of Australians have had their lives, and those of their families, impacted by chronic symptoms associated with tick bites such as fatigue, arthritis, chronic pain, headaches and ongoing psychological symptoms.

It is clear that there is need for targeted research to further understand the problem and develop appropriate diagnostics and treatments for patients with these symptom complexes.

The almost $3 million will be invested over five years for research that will generate better understanding of the nature, prevalence and causes of these symptoms, with the longer-term aim to obtain evidence to guide the development of treatments.

Professor Peter Irwin from Murdoch University will receive more than $1.9 million for his research to determine the causes of debilitating symptom complexes attributed to ticks (DSCATT).

The project brings together a national team of experienced clinicians and medical scientists to improve diagnostic outcomes for patients bitten by ticks through the provision of accurate and evidence-based information about their illness.

The University of Melbourne will receive more than $1 million for a research project led by Professor Richard Kanaan to develop a new treatment for DSCATT.

This project will develop a case definition, adapt the treatment approach for unexplained syndromes to the specifics of DSCATT, and then pilot a randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the new therapy.

The grants announced today are part of the Liberal National Government’s commitment to supporting health and medical research. Through the 2018–19 Budget we provided a record total of $6 billion to Australia’s health and medical research sector.

Our Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into vital health initiatives including medical research, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.