What is BABESIA?



Babesia is a tick-transmitted protozoal parasite that can cause MALARIA-LIKE symptoms and HEMOLYTIC anemia. Asplenic, elderly, and immunocompromised patients are at greatest risk for severe disease; however babesiosis can be serious in immunologically normal persons. Babesiosis is emerging as a disease of public health significance in the U.S.A, with increased reports of clinical, even fatal, cases in areas where the risk of infection with Babesia was not recognized previ ously. Until recently, human babesial infections in this country have been attributed to Babesia microti, derived from rodents. There is increasing evidence to suggest that human babesiosis in the U.S.A may be caused by babesial parasites that a re antigenically and genotypically distinct from Babesia microti.

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