Guest Profile

Bruce Alexander

Bruce Alexander is a medical entomologist who set up a company called Xeroshield in Scotland to develop some of his ideas on insect control. One of the projects was related to prevention and detection of Lyme diseases and didn't really fit in with the others.

The basic premises were that (a) a lot of people in Scotland probably had Lyme disease but awareness was/is terrible, even among physicians. (b) given the time it takes for ticks to attach, begin feeding and for Borrelia to enter CNS etc., nobody should get Lyme disease, provided they have the right info and right tools.

No need to get bogged down in Lyme wars, advocate alternative treatments or control of vectors and reservoirs. There are of course already tick removal devices but these (a) don't always take the tick out properly (especially when the users are squeamish, hysterical or just inexperienced (b) even when they do remove the tick properly and cleanly, they don't provide any further information - person still has to be on the lookout for symptoms of disease that mimics many others and may miss these.

So Bruce set up a new company (Garrapat Ltd.) to develop a technology that would allow anybody to get ticks out easily and quickly, irrespective of experience, visual acuity, squeamishness etc. and (if they wanted) determine if the tick that bit them was infected, receiving an accurate, trustworthy result in a matter of days from an accredited lab.  Bruce also wants to be involved in raising awareness, exploring the link between LD and autoimmune diseases and looking at new methods of diagnosis.