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

Svensson, Joel LU ; Hunfeld, Klaus Peter and Persson, Kristina E.M. LU (2019) In Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 10(1). p.186-190
Abstract

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.... (More)

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
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Babesia divergens, Babesia microti, Sweden, Tick-Borne diseases
in
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
volume
10
issue
1
pages
5 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85055726527
ISSN
1877-959X
DOI
10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.10.007
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
46b3b984-6575-4a2b-a79e-903060f755bd
date added to LUP
2019-01-09 13:55:37
date last changed
2019-11-05 05:10:30
@article{46b3b984-6575-4a2b-a79e-903060f755bd,
  abstract     = {<p>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 &lt; 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.</p>},
  author       = {Svensson, Joel and Hunfeld, Klaus Peter and Persson, Kristina E.M.},
  issn         = {1877-959X},
  keyword      = {Babesia divergens,Babesia microti,Sweden,Tick-Borne diseases},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {186--190},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases},
  title        = {High seroprevalence of Babesia antibodies among Borrelia burgdorferi-infected humans in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.10.007},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2019},
}