Babesiosis

Diagnosis is based on microscopical identification of parasites in Giemsa-stained blood films. This kind of diagnosis is tedious and the parasite can be overlooked or be confused with other intraerythrocytic inclusions. Over the years, several other techniques have been developed such as IFL, ELISA, and PCR primarily to diagnose babesiosis in livestock (Bose et al. 1995).

In humans the infection is rare and the babesias are often indistinguishable from the ring stages of malaria parasites. The first case of human babesiosis in Europe was reported in 1957 and since then another 28 human cases of babesiosis have been reported in Europe (Gorenflot et al. 1998). For obvious reason, this has resulted in very few assays for diagnosis of human babesiosis, especially for B. divergens infection. When a human case is suspected, physicians tend to collaborate with the veterinaries as was done when the first case in Sweden was documented (Uhnoo et al. 1992).

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