2019 Jun 28;116. pii: FL4D.

Babesiosis could be more common in Sweden than previously thought

[Article in Swedish]


Babesia is a malaria-like, intraerythrocytic parasite with more than 100 different species. It is a zoonosis and some of the species are transmitted to humans by ticks and also as a possible transfusion-transmitted infection. In Sweden the disease has been well known in veterinary medicine for a long time, but only a few but severe cases have been published in humans during the last decades. Common symptoms from human Babesia infections (babesiosis) are fever, chills and myalgia and they vary from subclinical to potentially fatal among those with risk factors such as immunosuppression and splenectomy. In the U.S. more than 2,000 cases of babesiosis are found yearly and it is one of the most frequent fatal infections following blood transfusion. A study from southern Sweden has recently revealed a seroprevalence of 16% of Babesia antibodies among Borrelia-infected persons. These results indicate that there is a need to broaden awareness of Babesia in Sweden.



This abstract underplays the prevalence of Babesia. Not sure why they state it is a possible transfusion-transmitted infection when the Red Cross recently came out with a test to screen Babesia for blood.  It’s an obvious problem:

Here’s an even earlier article going transfusion-transmission:  of those confirmed to be positive, 20% were PCR-positive, with 13% antibody-negative.

Here we have babies contracting it from blood:

Here we have people contracting Babesia from transfusions, even in non-endemic areas.   Excerpt:

Asymptomatic individuals with Babesia infection are able to donate blood in the United States because of the lack of specific blood donation testing. Blood products collected in Babesia-endemic areas are distributed nationally; thus, clinicians in nonendemic states may fail to include babesiosis in the differential diagnosis of a patient who had a recent transfusion history and a fever of unknown origin.”  

In the abstract, those with Lyme also had a seroprevalence of 16% of Babesia antibodies. In this study,  it was nearly 29%. To me this demonstrates those with Lyme are at risk for Babesia and other pathogens.

To date, little work has been done on concurrent infections, and has been underplayed for decades.

The most important, recent work demonstrating multiple pathogen involvement:  This shows Lyme patients are at risk for not only other tick borne illnesses but opportunistic infections as well.  This is what we experience and see in the real world of Lymeland.

I don’t think mainstream medicine has a clue how important concurrent infection is.  When left untreated, silent babesial infection may persist for months or even years. Although treatment with clindamycin and quinine reduces the duration of parasitemia, infection may still persist and recrudesce and side effects are common. Improved treatments are needed.

Dr. Krause published in the New England Journal of Medicine that when a patient has Lyme and Babesia, Lyme is found three-times more frequently in the blood, proving Babesia suppresses the immune system.   Dr. Horowitz warns that due to this immune suppression,patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus and are on immunosuppressant drugs, if they have Babesia, could get much worse. The strain, B. divergens, causes a higher mortality rate and more severe symptoms, and if left untreated, this strain can develop into shock-like symptoms with pulmonary edema and renal failure.

More on Babesia:  Dr. Horowitz, a nationally recognized LLMD, states Babesia is one of the most tenacious coinfections he sees in his patients and that treatment often takes 9 months to a year, particularly with those also infected with Lyme disease (borrelia).  Treatment options for you to discuss with your practitioner in this link.