Babesiosis Lyme Disease


When most of the world is struggling to shed the phobia of mad cow disease, bird flu, monkeypox virus and Covid-19, an ancient protozoan serpent Babesiosis still wait in ambush patiently at our cattle farms, outdoor game hunting or on a polo field to poison us with venom that will take our breath away.

Babesiosis is no baby as a layman will guess it to be, in fact it’s like malaria of tropical geographies which is spread by female anopheles mosquitoes, it is spread by Ixodid ticks in the west especially in the region of Europe and America. Like all parasitic transmitted diseases Babesiosis has also a vector, carrier and a host. The vector in this case is Ixodid ticks, the carrier is our cattle and wild animals and host is humans and animals. Babesiosis is a protozoan disease which the black Ixodid ticks sucks from the cattle and accumulates in their gut and further concentrate in their salivary glands and in turn transmits the infection to humans. Most of the patients cannot even recall that when they were bit by the tick. The general targets are people living at countryside or game hunters in the forest. However the disease can further be transmitted through blood transfusion by an infected person to another person, in desperate need of blood or in many cases the disease is also transmitted by a mother to her child in her womb.

The incubation or dormant period for the disease is generally one to four weeks after which the disease starts showing its symptoms of weakness, fatigue, depression, fever, weight loss, headaches, allergic to light, stiffness of muscles, continued cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, report of abdominal pain and accompanied by dark urine.

Like Malaria Babesiosis also targets the red blood cells of our body and destroy them gradually leading to the mentioned ailments and then after they multiply by basic cell division, in order to comprehend it briefly in a layman perspective, red blood cells are transport for the oxygen to various parts in the body and constant degeneration leads to low red blood cells counts, hence low oxygen supply in the body leaving us breathless, lethargic, fatigued and with fragile immune system.

Unlike other disease Babesiosis shows a unique characteristics in its mortality rate or living ratio of infected patients and differs according to geographic boundaries of the continents for example in America only ten percent of the infected patients die the rest recover with the aid of medical care or in many cases even in the absence of it while the story in Europe is entirely different and approximately fifty percent of the patients infected die due to this disease.

Age and sex is no bar for this disease and can occur equally in male and females of all age groups. But age groups above fifty are more susceptible to this disease as their immune system has lived half of its life and portrays a feeble defence against the onslaught of Babesiosis.

Babesiosis and Lyme diseases are both tick borne diseases and sometimes people mistake them to be of similar nature where as in reality Babesiosis present a more severe infection level in humans as compared to Lyme infections and thus different levels of treatments are required for both the diseases. On the other hand patients of both diseases complain history of travel to areas like Nantucket Island in America, where ironically the disease was first discovered in the region in 1966, especially during the month of May and September.

Patients suffering from this disease are fortunate to have a cure for this disease and the regular procedure of malaria is required to be drilled once the infection is discovered. Proper medical advice and medicines like Clindamycin (lincosamide antibiotic) are safest bet for the cure.

Babesiosis is constantly spanning its wings in other countries like Japan Mexico and China apart from Europe and America and needs an immediate attention and education for the people domiciled in other countries of the world so that they are well prepared with the necessary tools to fight this slow and steady catastrophe as and when it reaches their doors.

Detection of Babesiosis

Babesiosis or piroplasmosis is a very dangerous and invasive zoonotic disease (transmitted between animals and humans) of humans and animals that is spread by ticks. Although this parasite is widely widespread, it commonly infects rodents, carnivores, and cattle. However, in recent years, their spread and cross-spread have increased significantly and has been detected in various species. The causative agent is the Babesia species.

Babesiosis in goats

Tick-borne diseases of livestock can be economically devastating therefore husbandry practices and the availability of vaccination should be made public to farmers, especially in areas of rural economies.

The infecting agent that causes Babesiosis in goats is Babesia ovis (B. ovis) common in the Middle East, Middle Europe, central Asia, Turkey, India and some parts of Africa. Although not much is known about the disease and spread among goats, it is generally observed that it spreads in acute circumstances. Information about its spread and agents spreading the disease is not fully understood. However it is known that the protozoa destroys red blood cells and causes anaemia.

Currently several anti protozoa vaccinations are available in the form of imidocarb, derived from carbanilides. Further treatment could require administration of veterinary antibiotic called “tylosin”.

Babesiosis symptoms

Most people in the US and other parts of the world infected with babesiosis usually do not experience any symptoms. However, there are symptoms that could easily be mistaken for other conditions such as fatigue, fever, malaise, jaundice, and anaemia. Many of these symptoms can last from few days to several months and usually appear one to four weeks after infection. In individuals who are asymptomatic the disease typically goes away on its own.

Babesia life cycle human en

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