Ticks themselves do not cause disease but can carry and transmit a wide array of pathogens that cause disease in humans, including bacteria, spirochetes, rickettsiae, protozoa, viruses, nematodes, and toxins. The number of reported tick-borne disease cases rose in Europe and the US in the last decades.
Lyme disease (or Lyme borreliosis, LB) is the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. In Europe and North Asia, the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is widely transmitted by ticks. These diseases can become debilitating for some people and cause long-term health effects or be life-threatening if they are not treated. Indeed, early diagnosis of viral TBE and bacterial LB is crucial to start timely treatment and prevent people's health and lives. Serological tests detecting antibodies to Borrelia spirochetes or TBE virus are used to aid diagnosis and staging of the diseases.