High seroprevalence of Babesia antibodies among Borrelia burgdorferi-infected humans in Sweden

  • In northern Europe, tick-borne diseases such as Lyme borreliosis (LB) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) are well known. The actual incidence of Babesia infections, however, has remained elusive. In this study, the prevalence of antibodies against two Babesia spp. was investigated in a cohort of patients that were seropositive for Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.). Data were compared to a control group of healthy individuals. Sera were collected from 283 individuals residing in the southernmost region of Sweden, Skåne County. Almost one third of the sera were from patients with a confirmed seropositive reaction against B. burgdorferi s.l. All sera samples were assessed for IgG antibodies against Babesia (Ba.) microti and Ba. divergens by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) assays. Seropositive IgG titers for at least one of the Babesia spp. was significantly more common (p < 0.05) in individuals seropositive for Borrelia (16.3%) compared to the healthy control group (2.5%). Our findings suggest that Babesia infections may indeed be quite common among individuals who have been exposed to tick bites. Furthermore, the results indicate that human babesiosis should be considered in patients that show relevant symptoms; particularly for splenectomized and other immunocompromised individuals. Finally, the data challenges current blood transfusion procedures and highlights the current lack of awareness of the parasite in northern Europe.

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Author:Joel Svensson, Klaus-Peter Hunfeld, Kristina E. M. Persson
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-492029
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.10.007
ISSN:1877-9603
ISSN:1877-959X
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30389326
Parent Title (English):Ticks and tick-borne diseases
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Amsterdam [u. a.]
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/10/28
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/03/21
Tag:Babesia divergens; Babesia microti; Sweden; Tick-Borne diseases
Volume:10
Issue:1
Page Number:5
First Page:186
Last Page:190
Note:
© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/)
HeBIS-PPN:448057972
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0