FAQ - Babesiosis
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Symptoms of babesiosis, ehrlicititis(sp), and Mycoplasm?

I understand all these can come with the Lyme disease package. Can someone explain to me the symptoms, and could someone be infected with them and survive 8 years?

Babesiosis [bab-EE-see-OH-sis] is a rare parasitic disease that is transmitted to people by infected ticks.
Babesiosis occurs mainly in coastal areas in the northeastern United States, especially the offshore islands of New York and Massachusetts.
Elderly persons and people with weakened immune systems can get severe complications from babesiosis.
No vaccine against babesiosis is available. To prevent babesiosis, avoid exposure to ticks, and remove attached ticks right away.

What is babesiosis?

Babesiosis in humans is a rare, potentially fatal disease that is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. Babesiosis is a common infection in animals.

What is the infectious agent that causes babesiosis?

Babesiosis is caused by the Babesia parasite.

Where is babesiosis found?

Babesiosis occurs mainly in coastal areas in the northeastern United States, especially the offshore islands of New York and Massachusetts. Cases have also been reported in Wisconsin, California, Georgia, and in some European countries.

How do people get babesiosis?

Babesiosis is most commonly spread to people by the bite of a tick infected with the Babesia parasite. Babesiosis is spread by deer ticks, which are carried mainly by deer, meadow voles, and mice. Deer ticks also spread Lyme disease. People can be infected with both babesiosis and Lyme disease at the same time. People can also get babesiosis from a contaminated blood transfusion.

What are the signs and symptoms of babesiosis?

The parasite attacks the red blood cells. Symptoms, if any, begin with tiredness, loss of appetite, and a general ill feeling. As the infection progresses, these symptoms are followed by fever, drenching sweats, muscle aches, and headache. The symptoms can last from several days to several months.

How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?

It can take from 1 to 12 months for the first symptoms to appear, but less time for persons with weakened immune systems.

How is babesiosis diagnosed?

Laboratory diagnosis is based on identifying the parasite in red blood cells.

Who is at risk for babesiosis?

Anyone can get babesiosis, but some people are at increased risk for severe disease:

Elderly persons
Persons with weakened immune systems
Persons whose spleens have been removed

What complications can result from babesiosis?

Complications include very low blood pressure, liver problems, severe hemolytic anemia (a breakdown of red blood cells), and kidney failure. Complications and death are most common in persons whose spleens have been removed. Other people usually have a milder illness and often get better on their own.

What is the treatment for babesiosis?

A combination of anti-parasite medicines can be effective in treating babesiosis.

How common is babesiosis?

It is not known how common babesiosis is in the United States. Most people have no symptoms, and those who do are usually older persons and people who are already sick with other conditions. Most cases occur during spring, summer, and fall.

Is babesiosis an emerging infectious disease?

Yes. The first case was reported from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in 1969. Since then, babesiosis has emerged as a health threat in the United States, with increasing reports of babesiosis symptoms and some deaths in areas where the risk of infection was not previously recognized.

How can babesiosis be prevented?

No vaccine is available to protect humans against babesiosis. You can reduce your risk by taking these precautions against tick bites:
During outside activities, wear long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks. Wear a hat, and tie hair back.
Use insecticides to repel or kill ticks. Repellents containing the compound DEET can be used on exposed skin except for the face, but they do not kill ticks and are not 100% effective in preventing tick bites. Products containing permethrin kill ticks, but they cannot be used on the skin -- only on clothing. When using any of these chemicals, follow label directions carefully. Be especially cautious when using them on children.
After outdoor activities, check yourself for ticks, and have a "buddy" check you, too. Check body areas where ticks are commonly found: behind the knees, between the fingers and toes, under the arms, in and behind the ears, and on the neck, hairline, and top of the head. Check places where clothing presses on the skin.
Remove attached ticks immediately. Removing a tick before it has been attached for more than 24 hours greatly reduces the risk of infection. Use tweezers, and grab as closely to the skin as possible. Do not try to remove ticks by squeezing them, coating them with petroleum jelly, or burning them with a match.


Two million dollars per year - this is the amount which could be saved with the importation of inputs to test the sanitary state of poultry basic breeding flocks for this endemic disease, more commonly called mycoplasmosis, which causes losses in productivity and condemnation of birds to slaughter.

Developed by the Embrapa Pig & Poultry, nationally produced antigens for mycoplasmosis allow, the producers of basic breeding flocks (breeders of basic and parental stock), rigid sanitary control, and the capability of substituting, with equal efficiency, imported material, with various other advantages: good quality, accessible price and immediate availability.

The adoption of this technology by all basic stock and parent breeders in the country would lead consecutively to a general reduction of approximately 10% of carcass rejection, in the first year; 20% in the second; and 30% in the third, presenting a reduction of 1 million and two hundred thousand birds of a total of 4 million condemned yearly in Brazil because of aerossaculite.


Ehrlichioses are diseases caused by rickettsia-like organisms, which are extremely small, intracellular bacteria belonging to the family Rickettsiaceae, genus Ehrlichia (Tansill 1984). Ehrlichiosis was first described in Algerian dogs in 1935 (Donatien et al. 1935, Bakken 1994), and in the 1960s, a number of military guard dogs stationed in Vietnam died from complications of a hemorrhagic illness caused by Ehrlichia canis (Keefe et al. 1982).

Human ehrlichiosis is a more recently recognized disease. The first diagnosed case occurred in 1986 in a 51-yr-old man from Detroit who had been exposed to ticks in a rural area of Arkansas (Maeda et al. 1987). In 1990, the agent of human ehrlichiosis was isolated from the blood of a U.S. Army reservist at Fort Chaffee, AR (Dawson et al. 1991). The newly recognized organism was named E. chaffeensis (Anderson et al. 1991).

The genus Ehrlichia contains an emerging number of species. Prior to the discovery of E. chaffeensis, E. sennetsu was the only species known to infect humans. E. sennetsu causes Sennetsu fever, a mononucleosis-type illness first described in 1954, and occurring primarily in Japan (Misao et al. 1954, Bakken 1994). Sennetsu fever is very rare, and is usually benign, with no fatalities having ever been reported (Benenson 1990). The other species of Ehrlichia cause veterinary disease and include E. canis (canine ehrlichiosis), E. ewingii (canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis), E. risticii (Potomac Horse Fever), E. equi (disease in horses), E. phagocytophila (disease in sheep and cattle), as well as a small number of others (Rikihisa 1991, Tansill 1984).

Symptoms of human ehrlichiosis begin in 1-21 (average 7) days following infection and resemble those of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). The spectrum of disease ranges anywhere from an illness so mild or asymptomatic that no medical attention is sought, to a severe, life-threatening condition. The characteristic clinical features are high fever and headache, but may also include malaise, myalgias, nausea, vomiting, and anorexia. A rash similar to that seen in RMSF is rare (only present in about 20-percent of cases). Since E. chaffeensis invades white blood cells, the body's immune system is adversely affected. This lessens the body's ability to fight other infections. In those patients with severe complications, acute renal or respiratory failure is most common. There have been a small number of fatalities (Spach et al. 1993, Benenson 1990, Eng 1990).

Human ehrlichiosis is not yet a notifiable disease, so the true incidence is unclear. Currently, via a very passive reporting mechanism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records approximately 50 cases per year. Through 1993, 339 cases were 'reported' from 27 states. The CDC offers free serological testing to physicians and state health departments for a panel of 4 rickettsial diseases: RMSF, typhus, Q-fever, and human ehrlichiosis. In order to meet the current case definition for human ehrlichiosis, a 4-fold rise or fall in antibody titer must be demonstrated. Most of the 'reported' cases are the result of this free testing service (personal communication with CDC, 1994).

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Bakken et al. 1994) reports 12 cases of what may be a new type of human ehrlichiosis (termed 'human granulocytic ehrlichiosis,' or 'HGE'), occurring in Minnesota and Wisconsin from 1990 through 1993. These patients were all evaluated and treated at the Duluth (Minnesota) Clinic Ltd. Presenting symptoms included typical ehrlichiosis signs such as fever, headache, and severe myalgias. Two of the patients died from complications and secondary infections.

Serological and histological evidence points to a possible new species of Ehrlichia as the cause of the Duluth cases. It has not yet been named, but is apparently very closely related to both E. phagocytophila and E. equi, and distinct from E. chaffeensis. While E. chaffeensis is found predominantly in the monocytes, the new 'species' invades the granulocytes, giving rise to the distinction in the name of this latest form of human ehrlichiosis.

Both human ehrlichiosis and HGE appear to be arthropod- borne, with ticks thought to be the likely vectors. A possible vector for human ehrlichiosis is Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick) (Anderson et al. 1992). This tick is very prevalent in the south central and southeastern United States, where the majority of cases of human ehrlichiosis have been contracted. It is less clear which tick species might be involved in the transmission of the agent of HGE. Eight of the 12 Duluth patients had a history of tick bite by either Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) or Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick, a.k.a. deer tick) prior to onset of symptoms (Bakken 1994).

Treatment of both human ehrlichiosis and HGE with doxycycline is strongly indicated. Patients generally respond quickly to prompt therapy. The death of the two Duluth patients 'despite intensive treatment efforts, underscores the potential gravity of HGE and the need for early diagnosis and specific tetracycline or doxycycline therapy' (Bakken et al. 1994).  (+ info)

Babesiosis treatment & diagnosis?

I'm doing a science project on Babesiosis and I have a few questions:

1. Is there any current research into the treatment of Babesiosis?
2. How is Babesiosis treated and how is it different from malaria?
3. Is Babesiosis hard to distinguish from malaria in diagnosis, if so, why?

Any help you can provide would be great.

1Don't know about research
2 . Transmitted by same tick that transmits Lyme disease.
Treated with combo of antibiotics & quinine. Mostly found in Northeast of US.
It often resolves by itself in young healthy people vs. malaria that has relapses. Malaria usually found in Africa.
3. I don't think so. MD examines blood under microscope. Babesiosis attacks & lives in red blood cells.

Google: Babesiosis to find other details.  (+ info)

what symptoms does the babesiosis disease have?


  (+ info)

Does Babesiosis interfere with standard Lyme Treatment?

Will a co-infection of Babesiosis render the IDSA recommended treatment for Lyme Disease ineffective?

If so, how long would it likely take to progress to neuroborreliosis?
BC/BS insists that I need a LP or Neuropsych evaluation to prove it or they won't pay for anything more than 4 weeks of IV ceftriaxone.

The way I see it, there is no possible way I COULDN'T have it, as I was Txd with 2 wks Amoxicillin (Adult, non-pregnant).

My PCP didn't know anything about Babesiosis and the 1st ID I went to said that I had received adequate Tx. His responses to my questions was "That's what they're teaching at ALL the major Universities." and "you'd LOOK much sicker". (spent 5 hrs getting reading w/breaks every 15 minutes or so.)

Since BC/BS cites IDSA's guidelines, I was kind of hoping someone could tell me something that might justify their demand for subjective or possibly inaccurate & risky proof BEYOND my current ID specialist's expert clinical judgment.

I guess it looks like I'm not going to get that.
BC/BS insists that I need a LP or Neuropsych evaluation to prove Neuroborreliosis or they won't pay for anything more than 4 weeks of IV ceftriaxone.

The way I see it, there is no possible way I COULDN'T have it, as I was Txd with 2 wks Amoxicillin (Adult, non-pregnant).

My PCP didn't know anything about Babesiosis and the 1st ID I went to said that I had received adequate Tx. His responses to my questions was "That's what they're teaching at ALL the major Universities." and "you'd LOOK much sicker". (spent 5 hrs getting reading w/breaks every 15 minutes or so.)

Since BC/BS cites IDSA's guidelines, I was kind of hoping someone could tell me something that might justify their demand for subjective or possibly inaccurate & risky proof BEYOND my current ID specialist's expert clinical judgment.

I guess it looks like I'm not going to get that.
Ooops, I didn't know that would post twice, I just wanted to specify what "it" was, in the first sentence of my first post under "Additional Details".

To answer the Headline (original) question... Absolutely!

You really need to first address the "babs" before you take on knocking out the Lyme. All LLMDs (Lyme-lierate docs) know this.
The preferred treatment for Babesia is currently Mepron (an $$$ liquid medicine that I hear tastes like paint) along with Zithromax.
An antibiotic that will keep the Lyme in check can be added to a babesia-fighting drug protocol, if the doctor deams it neccessary.

As far as the IDSA-recommended Lyme treatments, since these specific treatment guidelines are now to be questioned... by members of a new review group currently being chosen by the IDSA (because of, & under legal agreement With, the CT State Att'y General's office), I wouldn't take them as "gospel" right now.

I think what you May be asking is whether Lyme can Progress to "Neuroborreliosis" while one is being treated for "babs".
As Lyme progresses slowly (you likely have some degree of neuroborreliosis Now) & Babesia can lead to serious conditions, often very quickly- if left untreated (it is a protozoan & needs specific malarial medicines to combat- standard antibiotics won't touch it), it's best you have an LLMD guide you in the proper approach to overall treatment.

Typical antibiotic treatments for Lyme are Much less effective if the body is fighting Babesiosis. This much we do know.  (+ info)

What is Babesiosis ?

An illness caused by the parasite Babesia which is transmitted from animals to humans by ticks. In the US, it is typically contracted in the Northeast or Midwest -- in southern New England or New York State and in Wisconsin or Minnesota. The signs and symptoms include fever, chills, sweating, myalgias (muscle aches), fatigue, hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of the liver and spleen) and hemolytic anemia (anemia due to break-up of red cells). Symptoms typically occur after an incubation period of 1 to 4 weeks and can last several weeks. The disease is more severe in patients who are immunosuppressed, splenectomized (lack their spleen), or elderly. It can cause death. Treatment involves antibiotics, usually clindamycin and quinine.  (+ info)

does anyone know anything about babesiosis?

  (+ info)

Need advice on drinking liquid medication and Mepron?

Recently I was diagnosed with Babesiosis. My doctor prescribed Mepron in combination with another antibiotic. This drug comes in liquid form. This is the problem I’m having.

Throughout my life I’ve always had a tough time swallowing liquid medication. I’ve always taken pills instead, even when I younger. Maybe it is just because I’m picky, but when I swallow liquid medications, in part because of the taste, it makes me feel like I’m going to gag; as a result, sometimes my stomach begins to hurt. It wouldn’t be so bad if this was treatment for a cold or something that would only last a week or so, but I will probably have to be on this medication for at least a month, taking it two times a day.

Is there anyway to help this medicine go down faster? What would you do in my situation? Do you know if it is possible to get Mepron or something similar in the form of a pill? Maybe I just need to grow up, but I'm hoping there is something that can make my situation easier.

Unfortunately, Mepron comes only in suspension form. You can try mixing it with applesauce or some other soft food. If your dosage is one teaspoon (that's 5mL, 750mg), it will mix easily. Remember to shake thouroughly before using. I expect that the antibiotic is azithromycin (Zithromax). This is used in combination with atovaquone (Mepron). Another combination is clindamycin with quinine sulfate capsules. Z-max & Mepron are used when clinda & quinine fail so I'd stick with what you have.  (+ info)

lyme disease quacks?

why have so many people with nebulous symptoms that can be explained by other disease states, negative serologies and no true evidence of lyme disease been sucked into the ILADS cult? why must feeling out of sorts be attributed to an infectious disease? why are people unwilling to accept that a 14-21 day course of doxy or amox is almost always effective in eradicating the organism? why have so many people been subjected to questionable testing, long courses of inappropriate antibiotics including antimalarials for co-infections for babesiosis, etc. with no objective evidence to support such outrageous therapy? how are people so gullible as to believe there is a cdc cover-up to deny people of their wildly inappropriate therapy? why are people willing to accept taking months to years of potentially harmful antibiotics based on a theoretical construct not based on true science? why are "lyme literate mds" allowed to continue their assault on good sense and good science? just asking..

You pose a good arguement. I suppose they do it just to cover their butts.  (+ info)

What's up doc?

My 22 year old friend who has been a vegetarian all her life, has been sick for a couple of years now. She is being treated by a Lyme specialist in San Francisco who has diagnosed her with Lyme's disease and Babesiosis. I really don't think this is what is wrong with her. Her first doctor said she had mononucleosis, and even suggested some form of herpes infection (not genital) She tells her father (and everyone else) that she has never been sexually active, ever!

Isn't Lyme's disease one of those kinds of illnesses that have symptoms similar to a number of other illnesses? I just have a hard time believing that this is really what she has. The doctor now has her on 4 different medications, and told her she had to be on antibiotics for 15 months. Huh?

Anybody, please weigh in, but don't tell me that I am not a doctor and that I should just accept this diagnosis as fact. Doctors make mistakes all the time.

Lyme and babesiosis are what are called "coinfections," You often get them together, and it's harder to get over when they are in combination than when they are by themselves. In my opinion, you will be more supportive of your friend if you accept the fact that she has these miserable diseases, and try to help her however you can. (Lyme patients are often disbelieved by their family and friends--and believe me, this makes them feel even worse.)

Yes, long term antibiotics are often what is needed to kick these diseases--sometimes several different ones at the same time, or in rotation. Here are some good sources of information about Lyme--the more you understand about your friends situation, the more you'll be able to support her in ways that she needs.

Good sources of info about Lyme disease:
http://www.lymetimes.org  (+ info)

How long do you have to be bitten by a tick in order for you to contract a disease...?

....and how long after do you start to feel the effects?...I was bathing and when I soaped my back I felt something strange when I looked at my hand I saw a small reddish brown tick on the palm of my hand (one of my dogs is currently being treated for babesiosis!). I went outside to check on my dogs just moments before my bath so I'm wondering if it got on then...are you supposed to see some kind of mark on your skin if you get bitten...I'm a little worried..tell me what you think.

If the tick is carrying the disease, then the moment you are bitten is when you contract the disease. For systoms to appear it varies with the pathogen.  (+ info)

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