What are the approach considerations in the workup of babesiosis?

Updated: Apr 01, 2021
  • Author: Rachel E Strength, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Babesiosis should be considered in patients who have a malaria-like illness with history of travel to areas endemic for Babesia infection; however, it can be quite difficult to diagnose. Although the index of suspicion should be high in such areas, patients with babesiosis have few, if any, localizing signs to suggest the disease.

Various direct and indirect tests may be useful for diagnosis (see below), though the results of laboratory studies may be unremarkable in individuals who are asymptomatic. Confirmation of the diagnosis depends on the degree of parasitemia and on the expertise and experience of the laboratory personnel. [4, 6]  Guidelines from Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) recommend confirmatory testing for babesiosis with a blood smear or PCR. [3]


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