Babesia is a protozoan from the phylum Apicomplexa. It differs from other parasites in not having flagella or cilia for movement, instead adhering and “gliding”. They differ from bacteria in being more complex, e.g. being “eukaryotic” and having DNA in a nucleus.
It is similar to malaria in that it infects red blood cells. Common species include B microti, B duncani, B divergens. There are more than 100 species in all. Our preferred conventional treatment is Zithromax 500mg daily and Mepron 750mg/5mL 2 tsp 2x/day. Another combination is quinine/clindamycin. Artemisinin and it’s derivatives are helpful. Treatment duration is variable but should continue until symptoms resolve and then some as relapses are common and more difficult to eradicate.
Diagnosis is often made based on symptoms. Anitbody testing is a lead but prone to false positive and negative results. Microscope examination, PCR, or FISH testing confirms.
Babesia is the second most common tick borne infection after Lyme. The symptoms of both overlap considerably.