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Babesia

PART 4 of "Four Tickborne Diseases: Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis"


This article explores the diagnosis and treatment of Babesia, a tick borne illness. It is part four of the four part series “Four Tickborne Diseases: Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis” .


Diagnosis can be challenging, as the tick bite may not have been noticed, clinical symptoms may be non-specific, and laboratory confirmation of infection can be problematic, especially early in the course of these diseases. At times clinicians may need to treat on clinical suspicion alone.


Written for the Curious (Non-Medical) Reader

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BABESIA


By Stuart M. Caplen, MD

Babesiosis is typically caused by a microscopic parasite Babesia microti that infects red blood cells. There are other species of Babesia that can cause infection, but B. microti is the most common. It is transmitted by bites from infected Ixodes scapularis ticks (also called blacklegged ticks or deer ticks), but occasionally can be transmitted by blood transfusion, or congenitally from mother to infant.[37] It is typically seen in the Northeast and upper Midwest. In 2018, 2,161 cases of babesiosis were reported to the CDC.[38] . . .


Read more about:

  • Babesia Life Cycle and Feeding Cycle

  • Symptoms of Babesiosis

  • Laboratory Findings in Babesiosis

  • Testing for Babesiosis

  • Treatment of Babesiosis



Read PART 1 - Lyme Disease | PART 2 - Ehrlichiosis | PART 3 - Anaplasmosis |

 

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The conclusion to Part 1-4 of this article is available in the FibonacciLIBRARY


The CME version of this article is available for the medical community with an online CME test in the APP.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stuart M. Caplen, MD, FACEP, MSM

Dr. Caplen is a retired emergency medicine physician and former emergency department medical director, who also has a Master of Science in Management degree, and green belt certification in Lean/Six Sigma.


References


[37] Parasites- Babesiosis, General Information, CDC, last reviewed: April 11, 2018. Retrieved from:https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/babesiosis/gen_info/index.html


[38] Swanson M, Gray EB, Surveillance for Babesiosis — United States, 2018, Annual Summary, CDC, Data current as of: April 22, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/babesiosis/resources/babesiosis_surveillance_summary_2018.pdf


[39] Babesiosis, DPDx - Laboratory Identification of Parasites of Public Health Concern, CDC, last reviewed: October 30, 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/babesiosis/index.html


[40] Parasites – Babesiosis Resources for Health Professionals, CDC, last reviewed: October 30, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/babesiosis/health_professionals/index.html


[41] Babesiosis, Laboratory diagnosis, DPDx - Laboratory Identification of Parasites of Public Health Concern, CDC, last reviewed: October 30, 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/babesiosis/index.html


[42] Photo credit- Babesiosis Image Gallery, DPDx - Laboratory Identification of Parasites of Public Health Concern, CDC, last reviewed: October 30, 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/babesiosis/index.html


[43] Parasites – Babesiosis, Resources for Health Professionals- Treatment, CDC, last reviewed: October 30, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/babesiosis/health_professionals/index.html#tx


[44] Diseases Transmitted by Ticks, CDC, last reviewed: April 2, 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/index.html


[45] Other Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses, CDC, last reviewed: January 18, 2019. Retrieved from:https://www.cdc.gov/otherspottedfever/


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