Overview of the Lyme Disease Initiative

The Federal Framework on Lyme Disease was released by the Government of Canada in May 2017. Along with the Framework, the Minister of Health announced up to $4 million over five fiscal years to establish a Lyme Disease Research Network.

CIHR, in collaboration with PHAC, is committed to taking action to fight the emergence of Lyme disease. This investment from CIHR and PHAC is part of Budget 2017’s commitment to support the government's Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. CIHR is implementing targeted investments in health and climate change in collaboration with stakeholders. This includes funding for the National Research Network on Lyme Disease and the Food Security and Climate Change in the Canadian North initiative.

The outcomes of these investments will ensure that communities and organizations have access to new knowledge, tools and resources to collectively manage and reduce the health impacts of climate change. They will build an evidence base to support effective health and non-health interventions that enable climate change adaptation.

Given that changing climate and weather patterns affect the emergence and re-emergence of vector-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, the Research Network on Lyme Disease is well-positioned to contribute research evidence related to the health impacts of climate change.

Additional research on Lyme disease is needed to:

  • Fill evidence gaps that exist for Lyme disease prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment options, and transmission dynamics;
  • Establish the efficacy and limitations of current tests and methods to improve them; and
  • Inform the causes, treatment and management options for patients who continue to experience persistent symptoms and chronic illness consistent with Lyme disease or similar ailments.
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