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Tick bites are a common problem in Australia and an important cause of morbidity in medical and veterinary practice. Complications include local inflammation and infection, paralysis and transmission of various pathogens. Over the past three decades, several new tick-borne diseases have been recognised both in Australia and overseas. The importance of these diseases has also increased, in part due to greater recreational activities occurring in tick infested areas. However, our understanding of the microbiology and epidemiology of many of these diseases is incomplete.