Babesiosis

Babesiosis is caused by hemoprotozoan parasites of the genus Babesia. The white-footed deer mouse is the main reservoir in the United States, and the vector is Ixodes ticks. Most infections are probably asymptomatic. Manifestations of disease include fever, chills, sweating, myalgias, fatigue, hepa-tosplenomegaly, and hemolytic anemia. Symptoms typically occur after an incubation period of 1 to 4 weeks and can last several weeks. The disease is more severe in immuno-suppressed, splenectomized, or elderly patients. Diagnosis can be made by microscopic examination of thick and thin blood smears stained with Giemsa, looking for the parasite in red blood cells (RBCs). Options for treatment include clindamycin plus quinine or atovaquone plus azithromycin.

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