Six Important Facts About Babesia

by Danica Reynes - Date: 2010-11-19 - Word Count: 605 Share This!

Babesia, which causes Babesiosis, generally requires two hosts throughout its lifespan. It originates from the bite of an infected tick, can spread to humans and animals alike, reproduces asexually and is found all over the world.

Babesia is one of the parasites that transmits harmful diseases to animals and humans. There are quite a few non-scientific names for Babesia including Babesiosis, Nantucket Fever and Redwater Fever. Call it anything you like, but educate yourself well about the parasite to avoid infection:

Babesia is what results in the contraction of babesiosis

The cause of Babesiosis is a protozoan parasite. The name Babesiosis comes from the parasite and the disease has symptoms something like malaria. The health of the carrier of babesiosis may be impacted. Atypical antibiotic medications, guanine and clindamycin, are treatments of babesiosis which is similar to the treatment of malaria.

For its whole life cycle, Babesia needs two hosts

This particular parasite requires two hosts during it's life cycle. The initial host is the tick, which makes the sporozoites, or the cell form that goes on to infect subsequent hosts. The parasite uses the vertebrae host as its breeding stage, this is the second host for the parasite. Ticks are the sole cause of transmission, which means hosts can't infect others directly.

An infected tick bite can transmit Babesia to humans or animals

As the infected tick continues to molt through its different phases of development it bites into the skin of a human being or an animal for nourishment and subsequently transmit the parasite. The Babesia parasite can live inside its host tick and then become transmitted to the tick's host if it is not first detected. The babesiosis will then live inside certain parts of vertebrae in the host's body like some organs in the circulatory system and in the host's red blood cells. Female ticks will pass on some species of Babesia to their children.

Creatures in the wild as well as domesticated ones can get Babesia

Dogs, deer, cattle and rodents are some of the more common domestic animals that can become infected by the parasite, despite whether they were domesticated or wild. When examining the blood of mammals, Babesiosis is one of the most common parasites. The deer tick is the primary carrier of the disease, while the white-footed mouse is the main reservoir. Almost 60% of mice may be infected in endemic areas, and experiments reveal that almost all of the contaminated mice produce infected ticks.

The babesia parasite reproduces itself through asexual reproduction

The parasites are able to reproduce asexually and the pairs usually exist in the host's red blood cells. Infected ticks transmit sporozoites to a mouse, and the sporozoites move to the red blood cells and subsequently reproduce. Ticks are able to ingest parasites while they are in the blood cells as they continue to draw the host's blood. The incubation period can span from 1 to 6 weeks.

Transmission of babesia occurs around the world

The disease of Babesia has already taken the whole world under its stride but it is quite cumbersome to determine which of the nations have been victimized by this Babesia disease the most and the reason for that being the similarity of symptoms of this disease with that of the malaria disease. A common trait among cases reported in Europe is that patients have had their spleens removed. The babesia microti is the most typical strain that is seen in the U.S. In some states, such as California and Washington, the babesia duncani strain is isolated in patients.

Knowledge of babesiosis is important in order to come up with preventive measures and treatments especially in countries that have widespread reports of this parasite.

Here's a site where you can get more information on Babesia at
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