Ticks are obligate haematophagous ectoparasites, vectors of numerous pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites) with an impact on both animal and human health.

At each life stage: larval, pupal and adult, blood meals are required for their life cycle.


The MiTick team at BIPAR JRU is carrying out research on various tick species, in particular Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of the Borrelia bacteria responsible for Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis virus in Europe.

Large numbers of healthy ticks are needed to carry out studies on:

  • tick biology,
  • tick physiology and microbiota,
  • vector competence,
  • tick/pathogen interactions,
  • epidemiology
  • the development of new control measures.

 Consequently, setting up an effective Ixodes breeding system is crucial to the success of this work.

The tickarium is located in the ANSES animal house in Maisons-Alfort.

BIPAR JRU maintains several rearing facilities for I. ricinus ticks at different life stages, with the prospect of expanding to different tick species in the near future.

To avoid inbred lines, ticks collected in the south of Paris or from other countries are regularly incorporated into the colonies.

Using real-time microfluidic PCR, pathogen screening on ticks 'from the field' can detect the bacteria, protozoan parasites and viruses they can transmit, ruling out any contamination within the breeding.

The tickarium is currently run by a research engineer (INRAE) and two research technicians (ANSES and INRAE).

The reared ticks are used mainly by the Mitick team for its projects, but collaborations with other teams in France have also been set up.



  • Five high-performance thermostatic chambers with optimum humidity, temperature and light cycle conditions for rearing Ixodes ticks:




  • Equipment for imaging, molecular biology and tick injections:




  • Artificial blood feeding systems:


The purchase of key equipment was supported by DIM-1Health Ile-de-France and ANSES.

Modification date : 02 May 2024 | Publication date : 21 February 2023 | Redactor : S. Bertrand / C. Rouxel / L. Le Dortz