Babesia Species

Babesia are intracellular sporozoan parasites that is similar to plasmodia.They infect a range of animals such as deer, cattle, rodent, sadly, humans are accidental host.

 

Physiology and Structure:

Infected cells in humans resemble the ring forms of P. falciparum but malarial pigment or other stages of growth characteristically seen with plasmodial infections when not carefully observed.

 

Life cycle:

taken from: http://www.icp.ucl.ac.be/~opperd/parasites/images/babes_cycle


Clinical Syndromes:

An incubation period of 1 to 4 weels is conducted. In most cases, patients experience general malaise, fever without periodicity, chills, sweating, fatigue and weakness. The destruction of erythrocytes increases as the infection progresses which would lead to renal failure, low-grade parasitemia (persist for weeks) and immunosuppression. In addition, advanced age increase a person's susceptibility to infections and more severe diseases.


Treatment, Prevention and Control:

  • Treatment is usually conducted by a combination of clindamycin and quinine which is known for its effectiveness to elimate the parasite. Chloroquine phosphate treatment also offers symptomatic relief, however, parasites are still found in blood.
  • The use of protective clothing and insect repellents can minimize tick exxposure in endemic areas.
  • Ticks are fed on humans for a few hours thus, prompt removal of ticks can be protective.