Journal Article

Severe Babesiosis in Long Island: Review of 34 Cases and Their Complications

Jeffrey C. Hatcher, Pietra D. Greenberg, Julie Antique and Victor E. Jimenez-Lucho

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 32, issue 8, pages 1117-1125
Published in print April 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/319742
Severe Babesiosis in Long Island: Review of 34 Cases and Their Complications

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Thirty-four consecutive patients were hospitalized with diagnosis of severe Babesia infection over the course of 13 years. The average time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 15 days. When compared with uninfected febrile control patients, affected patients complained significantly more often of malaise, arthralgias and myalgias, and shortness of breath (P < .05), and they more often had thrombocytopenia and abnormal liver function (P < .05). Forty-one percent of patients with Babesia developed complications such as acute respiratory failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation, congestive heart failure, and renal failure. Analysis of data revealed that complicated babesiosis was more commonly associated with the presence of severe anemia (hemoglobin level <10 g/dL; P = .01) and higher parasitemia levels (>10%; P = .08). Patients were treated with a combination of drugs that included clindamycin, quinine, atovaquone, or azithromycin. Despite treatment, parasitemia persisted for an average of 8.5 days (range, 3–21 days). Exchange transfusion was performed for 7 patients, and it effectively reduced the high levels of parasitemia. Three patients died. Improved outcomes may result with prompt recognition and treatment of babesiosis.

Journal Article.  3147 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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