Thursday, August 21, 2008
I don't know if my comments about Bartonella are correct. But I am convinced Babesia is the real thing. Labcorp and Quest will only test for B. microti. Babesia duncati or W.A. is supposed to occur only on the west coast. My east cost patients test positive for this strain at IgeneX. Other strains may be pathogenic. We really don't know. There is no accurate test. Only acute disease is associated with positive blood smears. PCR is a nice idea but it only works if you know which strains you are testing for. The IgeneX FISH test only looks for microti strains as well. I look for malaria like symptoms: sweats, chills, flu like symptoms, fever and malaise which occur in a cyclical, undulating fashion. If severe Lyme patients without any of these symptoms fail to respond to treatment as expected anti-Babesial therapy frequently does the trick. The IDSA claims that the diagnosis requires a positive blood smear or PCR test in a patient with acute typical symptoms. The standard medical wisdom is that Babesia is generally a minor infection which the immune system readily clears in most cases without treatment. They seemed to have missed the boat on this one. I guess that doesn't shock anyone.