Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Babesia Screen

Test Name: Babesia Screen
Alternate Name(s):  
Laboratory: Core
Specimen Type: 4 mL K2 or K3 EDTA Lavender top Vacutainer tube.

2 mL K2 or K3 EDTA Lavender top Vacutainer tube.
Collection Information: Minimum volume required is 2 mL.
Test Schedule: As required
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
24 hours
4 hours
Reference Range: No babesial parasites seen.
Effective Date: 2016-03-10
Revised Date: 2019-05-17
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Babesia microti is the main cause of babesiosis in non-splenectomized patients. Cases of this disease have been reported during spring, summer and fall in northwestern Wisconsin and in coastal areas in northeastern United States, especially Nantucket Island off the Massachusetts shore and on Long Island, New York. Cases have also been reported in California, Georgia and some European countries. It is transmitted by ticks, which serve as an intermediate host. Mammals such as deer and mice serve as the reservoir and humans are only incidentally infected.

Most patients have subclinical or mild undiagnosed disease, although fatal infections with severe hemolysis can occur, typically in splenectomized or immune-compromised patients. If symptoms develop, they occur 10-14 days after the tick bite and include malaise with chills, fever, diaphoresis, weakness, headache, myalgia and arthralgia.
Special Processing:  
Method of Analysis: Initial screening of a routine blood film is performed and if babesial parasites are noted, a parasitemia level is resulted. Confirmatory testing will follow with examination of thick and thin films stained with Gurr's Giemsa.
Critical Information Required: Travel history specifying where potential infection has occurred.
Storage & Shipment: Ship sample at room temperature.

Samples must be sent within the laboratory for blood film preparation within 1 hour of collection.
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul