Babesiosis in Washington State: A new species of Babesia?

Robert E. Quick, Barbara L. Herwaldt, John W. Thomford, Michael E. Garnett, Mark L. Eberhard, Marianna Wilson, David H. Spach, Jennifer W. Dickerson, Sam R. Telford, Karen R. Steingart, Richard Pollock, David H. Persing, John M. Kobayashi, Dennis D. Juranek, Patricia A Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

150 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To characterize the etiologic agent (WA1) of the first reported case of babesiosis acquired in Washington State. Design: Case report, and serologic, molecular, and epizootiologic studies. Setting: South-central Washington State. Patient: A 41-year-old immunocompetent man with an intact spleen who developed a moderately severe case of babesiosis. Measurements: Serum specimens from the patient were assayed by indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) testing for reactivity with seven Babesia species and with WA1, which was propagated in hamsters inoculated with his blood. A Babesia-specific, ribosomal-DNA (rDNA) probe was hybridized to Southern blots of restriction-endonuclease-digested preparations of DNA from WA1, Babesia microti, and Babesia gibsoni. Serum specimens from 83 family members and neighbors were assayed for IFA reactivity with WA1 and B. microti. Small mammals and ticks were examined for Babesia infection. Results: The patient's serum had very strong IFA reactivity with WA1, strong reactivity with B. gibsoni (which infects dogs), but only weak reactivity with B. microti. DNA hybridization patterns with the rDNA probe clearly differentiated WA1 from 8. gibsoni and 8. microti. Four of the patient's neighbors had IFA titers to WA1 of 256. The tick vector and animal reservoir of WA1 have not yet been identified, despite trapping 83 mammals and collecting 235 ticks. Conclusions: WA1 is morphologically indistinguishable but antigenicaily and genotypically distinct from B. microti. Some patients elsewhere who were assumed to have been infected with B. microti may have been infected with WA1. Improved serodiagnostic and molecular techniques are needed for characterizing Babesia species and elucidating the epidemiology of babesiosis, an emergent zoonosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume119
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1993
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Babesia microti
Babesiosis
Babesia
Ticks
Antibodies
DNA Probes
Ribosomal DNA
Mammals
Serum
Arvicolinae
DNA
DNA Restriction Enzymes
Zoonoses
Southern Blotting
Cricetinae
Epidemiology
Spleen
Dogs
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Quick, R. E., Herwaldt, B. L., Thomford, J. W., Garnett, M. E., Eberhard, M. L., Wilson, M., ... Conrad, P. A. (1993). Babesiosis in Washington State: A new species of Babesia? Annals of Internal Medicine, 119(4), 284-290.

Babesiosis in Washington State : A new species of Babesia? / Quick, Robert E.; Herwaldt, Barbara L.; Thomford, John W.; Garnett, Michael E.; Eberhard, Mark L.; Wilson, Marianna; Spach, David H.; Dickerson, Jennifer W.; Telford, Sam R.; Steingart, Karen R.; Pollock, Richard; Persing, David H.; Kobayashi, John M.; Juranek, Dennis D.; Conrad, Patricia A.

In: Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 119, No. 4, 15.08.1993, p. 284-290.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Quick, RE, Herwaldt, BL, Thomford, JW, Garnett, ME, Eberhard, ML, Wilson, M, Spach, DH, Dickerson, JW, Telford, SR, Steingart, KR, Pollock, R, Persing, DH, Kobayashi, JM, Juranek, DD & Conrad, PA 1993, 'Babesiosis in Washington State: A new species of Babesia?', Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 119, no. 4, pp. 284-290.
Quick RE, Herwaldt BL, Thomford JW, Garnett ME, Eberhard ML, Wilson M et al. Babesiosis in Washington State: A new species of Babesia? Annals of Internal Medicine. 1993 Aug 15;119(4):284-290.
Quick, Robert E. ; Herwaldt, Barbara L. ; Thomford, John W. ; Garnett, Michael E. ; Eberhard, Mark L. ; Wilson, Marianna ; Spach, David H. ; Dickerson, Jennifer W. ; Telford, Sam R. ; Steingart, Karen R. ; Pollock, Richard ; Persing, David H. ; Kobayashi, John M. ; Juranek, Dennis D. ; Conrad, Patricia A. / Babesiosis in Washington State : A new species of Babesia?. In: Annals of Internal Medicine. 1993 ; Vol. 119, No. 4. pp. 284-290.
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abstract = "Objective: To characterize the etiologic agent (WA1) of the first reported case of babesiosis acquired in Washington State. Design: Case report, and serologic, molecular, and epizootiologic studies. Setting: South-central Washington State. Patient: A 41-year-old immunocompetent man with an intact spleen who developed a moderately severe case of babesiosis. Measurements: Serum specimens from the patient were assayed by indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) testing for reactivity with seven Babesia species and with WA1, which was propagated in hamsters inoculated with his blood. A Babesia-specific, ribosomal-DNA (rDNA) probe was hybridized to Southern blots of restriction-endonuclease-digested preparations of DNA from WA1, Babesia microti, and Babesia gibsoni. Serum specimens from 83 family members and neighbors were assayed for IFA reactivity with WA1 and B. microti. Small mammals and ticks were examined for Babesia infection. Results: The patient's serum had very strong IFA reactivity with WA1, strong reactivity with B. gibsoni (which infects dogs), but only weak reactivity with B. microti. DNA hybridization patterns with the rDNA probe clearly differentiated WA1 from 8. gibsoni and 8. microti. Four of the patient's neighbors had IFA titers to WA1 of 256. The tick vector and animal reservoir of WA1 have not yet been identified, despite trapping 83 mammals and collecting 235 ticks. Conclusions: WA1 is morphologically indistinguishable but antigenicaily and genotypically distinct from B. microti. Some patients elsewhere who were assumed to have been infected with B. microti may have been infected with WA1. Improved serodiagnostic and molecular techniques are needed for characterizing Babesia species and elucidating the epidemiology of babesiosis, an emergent zoonosis.",
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