Archive for the ‘Babesiosis’ Category

Treatment of Babesiosis

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

For those with mild symptoms who do not seek treatment, the infection will often resolve itself given enough time (approximately 6 months). Treatment can last from 10 days to 2 months depending on the severity of the disease.  The most common treatment given is a combination of quinine (650 mg of salt orally, three times daily) and clinamyacin (600 mg orally, three times daily) for 7-10 days. Other drugs have also been used in treatment with varied results. These medicines include: tetracycline, primaquine, sulfadiazine, pyrimethamine, pentamidine and atovaquone. If a patient is critically ill, chemotherapy may also be used as a treatment.

However,Azithromycin with atovaquone is an effective and well-tolerated regimen for the treatment of babesiosis. Although it is more expensive than therapy with quinine and clindamycin, this combination should be considered the first-line choice for treatment of non­life-threatening cases of babesiosis in adults because of its lower incidence of systemic side effects.

Symptoms Of Babesiosis

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

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.

The general symptoms of babesiosis include fatigue, muscle aches, joint aches, weight loss, and nausea.These symptoms are very nonspecific therefore a physician or patient must have a high degree of suspicion. There is often an incubation period of one to six weeks between the time of the tick bite and the development of symptoms. Other babesiosis symptoms include chills, jaundice, and symptoms of anemia. Sometimes people will develop and enlarged liver or spleen. Babesiosis symptoms will often include fever.

Causes of Babesiosis

Friday, August 1st, 2008

More than 100 species of Babesia exist, but only a small number of species are known to be responsible for the majority of symptomatic disease. The causative agent of babesiosis varies according to geographic region.

Babesia microti live and divide within red blood cells, destroying the cells and causing anemia. The majority of people who are infected have no visible symptoms. In those who become ill, symptoms appear one to six weeks following the tick bite. Because the ticks are small, many patients have no recollection of a tick bite. The symptoms are flu-like and include tiredness, loss of appetite, fever, drenching sweats, and muscle pain. Nausea, vomiting, headache, shaking chills, blood in the urine, and depression can occur.

Persons who are over 40 years old, have had their spleen removed (splenectomized), and/or have a serious disease (cancer, AIDS, etc.) are at a greater risk for severe babesiosis. In severe cases of babesiosis, up to 85% of the blood cells can be infected. This causes a serious, possibly fatal, blood deficiency.

What is Babesiosis ?

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Babesiosis is an intraerythrocytic parasitic infection caused by protozoa of the genus Babesia and transmitted through the bite of the Ixodes tick, the same vector responsible for transmission of Lyme disease.The Ixodid ticks ingest Babesia during feeding from the host, multiply the protozoa in their gut wall, and concentrate it in their salivary glands. Babesiosis is a zoonotic disease maintained by the interaction of tick vectors, transport hosts, and animal reservoirs. The primary vectors of the parasite are ticks of the genus Ixodes. In the United States, babesiosis is usually an asymptomatic infection in healthy individuals. Several groups of patients become symptomatic, and, within these subpopulations, significant morbidity and mortality occur. The disease most severely affects patients who are elderly, immunocompromised, or asplenic. Among those symptomatically infected, the mortality rate is 10% in the United States and 50% in Europe.