Babesiosis: Treatment and prevention
- Peter J Krause, MD
Peter J Krause, MD
- Senior Research Scientist
- Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine
- Edouard G Vannier, PhD
Edouard G Vannier, PhD
- Assistant Professor of Medicine
- Tufts Medical Center
Babesiosis is an infectious disease caused by protozoa of the genus Babesia and is transmitted primarily by tick vectors. Transmission rarely occurs via blood transfusion, organ transplantation, and congenitally. Babesia protozoa invade and cause lysis of red blood cells in mammalian hosts [1-3].
Babesia microti is the primary agent of human babesiosis in the United States, particularly in the Northeast and upper Midwest where it is endemic. Nearly all cases in Europe have been attributed to Babesia divergens, but the infection is sporadic. Babesia venatorum is endemic in northeastern China.
The treatment and prevention of babesiosis will be reviewed here. The clinical manifestations, diagnosis, microbiology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis of babesiosis are discussed separately. (See "Babesiosis: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis" and "Babesiosis: Microbiology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis".)
TREATMENT OF B. MICROTI INFECTION
Asymptomatic infection — Antimicrobial therapy should not be given to individuals with asymptomatic B. microti infection .
Mild to moderate disease — Mild to moderate babesiosis typically occurs in immunocompetent patients and is associated with parasitemia <4 percent; it does not require hospital admission. (See "Babesiosis: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis", section on 'Mild to moderate disease'.)To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- TREATMENT OF B. MICROTI INFECTION
- Immunocompetent patients
- - Asymptomatic infection
- - Mild to moderate disease
- - Severe disease
- Antimicrobial therapy
- Exchange transfusion
- - Pregnant women
- - Splenic rupture
- Immunocompromised patients
- - Acute infection
- Mild to moderate disease
- Severe disease
- Duration of antimicrobial therapy
- - Low risk of relapse
- - High risk of relapse
- - Relapse
- TREATMENT OF INFECTION DUE TO OTHER SPECIES
- B. divergens
- B. divergens-like organisms
- B. duncani
- B. venatorum
- SOCIETY GUIDELINE LINKS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS