Zoonotic babesiosis

Overview of the disease and novel aspects of pathogen identity

Jeremy Gray, Annetta Zintl, Anke Hildebrandt, Klaus Peter Hunfeld, Louis M. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Babesiosis is a zoonosis caused by tick-transmitted intraerythrocytic protozoa of the Phylum Apicomplexa. The disease mostly occurs in the USA, but cases have also been reported in several European countries, in Egypt, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa. The main pathological event is lysis of erythrocytes resulting in haemolytic anaemia, which in severe cases may lead to organ failure and death, particularly in immunocompromised patients. The 2 groups of parasites involved, Babesia microti-like and Babesia sensu stricto (s.s.) species, differ in their life cycle characteristics and susceptibility to antibabesial drugs. Molecular taxonomy is now making a major contribution to the identification of novel pathogens within both groups. Effective treatment of severe cases was initially hampered by the lack of specific antibabesial drugs for human use, but increased use of supportive measures and of the recently developed antimalarial, atovaquone, particularly in combination with azithromycin, has improved the prospects for management of acute disease especially when caused by Babesia s.s. species. Prevention should be based primarily on increasing the awareness of physicians and the public to the risks, but infection from blood transfusions is particularly difficult to prevent. Expanding deer populations, resulting in wider distribution and greater abundance of ticks, heightened medical awareness, and growing numbers of immunocompromised patients are likely to result in a continuing rise of reported cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Fingerprint

Babesiosis
Babesia
babesiosis
Zoonoses
Immunocompromised Host
Ticks
ticks
Babesia microti
Atovaquone
azithromycin
Apicomplexa
drugs
acute course
Azithromycin
hemolytic anemia
blood transfusion
antimalarials
Deer
molecular systematics
pathogens

Keywords

  • Babesia
  • Ixodes
  • Pathogen identity
  • Pathology
  • Prevention
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Insect Science
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Zoonotic babesiosis : Overview of the disease and novel aspects of pathogen identity. / Gray, Jeremy; Zintl, Annetta; Hildebrandt, Anke; Hunfeld, Klaus Peter; Weiss, Louis M.

In: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, Vol. 1, No. 1, 03.2010, p. 3-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gray, Jeremy ; Zintl, Annetta ; Hildebrandt, Anke ; Hunfeld, Klaus Peter ; Weiss, Louis M. / Zoonotic babesiosis : Overview of the disease and novel aspects of pathogen identity. In: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. 2010 ; Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 3-10.
@article{23922a229779421f80288c94ae89ad59,
title = "Zoonotic babesiosis: Overview of the disease and novel aspects of pathogen identity",
abstract = "Babesiosis is a zoonosis caused by tick-transmitted intraerythrocytic protozoa of the Phylum Apicomplexa. The disease mostly occurs in the USA, but cases have also been reported in several European countries, in Egypt, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa. The main pathological event is lysis of erythrocytes resulting in haemolytic anaemia, which in severe cases may lead to organ failure and death, particularly in immunocompromised patients. The 2 groups of parasites involved, Babesia microti-like and Babesia sensu stricto (s.s.) species, differ in their life cycle characteristics and susceptibility to antibabesial drugs. Molecular taxonomy is now making a major contribution to the identification of novel pathogens within both groups. Effective treatment of severe cases was initially hampered by the lack of specific antibabesial drugs for human use, but increased use of supportive measures and of the recently developed antimalarial, atovaquone, particularly in combination with azithromycin, has improved the prospects for management of acute disease especially when caused by Babesia s.s. species. Prevention should be based primarily on increasing the awareness of physicians and the public to the risks, but infection from blood transfusions is particularly difficult to prevent. Expanding deer populations, resulting in wider distribution and greater abundance of ticks, heightened medical awareness, and growing numbers of immunocompromised patients are likely to result in a continuing rise of reported cases.",
keywords = "Babesia, Ixodes, Pathogen identity, Pathology, Prevention, Treatment",
author = "Jeremy Gray and Annetta Zintl and Anke Hildebrandt and Hunfeld, {Klaus Peter} and Weiss, {Louis M.}",
year = "2010",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.ttbdis.2009.11.003",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "1",
pages = "3--10",
journal = "Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases",
issn = "1877-959X",
publisher = "Elsevier GmbH",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Zoonotic babesiosis

T2 - Overview of the disease and novel aspects of pathogen identity

AU - Gray, Jeremy

AU - Zintl, Annetta

AU - Hildebrandt, Anke

AU - Hunfeld, Klaus Peter

AU - Weiss, Louis M.

PY - 2010/3

Y1 - 2010/3

N2 - Babesiosis is a zoonosis caused by tick-transmitted intraerythrocytic protozoa of the Phylum Apicomplexa. The disease mostly occurs in the USA, but cases have also been reported in several European countries, in Egypt, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa. The main pathological event is lysis of erythrocytes resulting in haemolytic anaemia, which in severe cases may lead to organ failure and death, particularly in immunocompromised patients. The 2 groups of parasites involved, Babesia microti-like and Babesia sensu stricto (s.s.) species, differ in their life cycle characteristics and susceptibility to antibabesial drugs. Molecular taxonomy is now making a major contribution to the identification of novel pathogens within both groups. Effective treatment of severe cases was initially hampered by the lack of specific antibabesial drugs for human use, but increased use of supportive measures and of the recently developed antimalarial, atovaquone, particularly in combination with azithromycin, has improved the prospects for management of acute disease especially when caused by Babesia s.s. species. Prevention should be based primarily on increasing the awareness of physicians and the public to the risks, but infection from blood transfusions is particularly difficult to prevent. Expanding deer populations, resulting in wider distribution and greater abundance of ticks, heightened medical awareness, and growing numbers of immunocompromised patients are likely to result in a continuing rise of reported cases.

AB - Babesiosis is a zoonosis caused by tick-transmitted intraerythrocytic protozoa of the Phylum Apicomplexa. The disease mostly occurs in the USA, but cases have also been reported in several European countries, in Egypt, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa. The main pathological event is lysis of erythrocytes resulting in haemolytic anaemia, which in severe cases may lead to organ failure and death, particularly in immunocompromised patients. The 2 groups of parasites involved, Babesia microti-like and Babesia sensu stricto (s.s.) species, differ in their life cycle characteristics and susceptibility to antibabesial drugs. Molecular taxonomy is now making a major contribution to the identification of novel pathogens within both groups. Effective treatment of severe cases was initially hampered by the lack of specific antibabesial drugs for human use, but increased use of supportive measures and of the recently developed antimalarial, atovaquone, particularly in combination with azithromycin, has improved the prospects for management of acute disease especially when caused by Babesia s.s. species. Prevention should be based primarily on increasing the awareness of physicians and the public to the risks, but infection from blood transfusions is particularly difficult to prevent. Expanding deer populations, resulting in wider distribution and greater abundance of ticks, heightened medical awareness, and growing numbers of immunocompromised patients are likely to result in a continuing rise of reported cases.

KW - Babesia

KW - Ixodes

KW - Pathogen identity

KW - Pathology

KW - Prevention

KW - Treatment

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77949290797&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77949290797&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2009.11.003

DO - 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2009.11.003

M3 - Article

VL - 1

SP - 3

EP - 10

JO - Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases

JF - Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases

SN - 1877-959X

IS - 1

ER -