Scotland is to be part of an initiative aimed at improving the detection and treatment of tick-borne diseases.

NHS Highland health board has agreed to become involved in the EU NorthTick research project hopes to develop new tests to make diagnosis of diseases easier and also develop more targeted antibiotics.

NHS Highland is one of ten partners from seven European countries collaborating to develop tools to meet the challenges of tick-borne diseases.

There has been an increase in people affected by tick-borne disease in recent decades, with the reasons for this including climate change, increased urbanisation and other human impacts on the ecosystem.

The main aims of NorthTick are to increase awareness and stimulate the public sector towards generate innovative ideas and solutions for improving how tick-borne diseases are treated. The project is set to run for three and a half years.

The work will include looking at prevention measures by improving awareness rates and developing new microbial diagnostic tools for common and emerging new tick-borne diseases in the European North Sea region.

Institutions from Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway are also involved in the project.