Globally ticks are one of the most important disease vectors, second only to mosquitoes, in terms of the number of pathogens vectored. In UK they are important vectors of Lyme borreliosis. After feeding on an infected host, a tick can become infected and consequently transmit this infection to any subsequent hosts that it may feed on.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in ticks and their associated diseases, both of which appear to being increasingly reported across Europe. In part this has been the result of increased surveillance and improved detection methods, although changes in human lifestyle, animal movements and habitat change, may also have increased exposure to ticks in their natural environment. There is a general consensus that the distribution and abundance of ticks is changing, although the lack of reliable quantitative data on British ticks makes the extent of this hard to determine.