Thursday, January 19, 2012

Babesia: confirmed case

An unexpected page last Sunday. Call.... about...., 1-800 number, blood parasites. Strange message. I called the number back and ask for the name displayed on my beeper. The caller was a hematology tech from one of the "mill" labs. She had just seen parasites in the red blood cells of one of my patients: ring forms with some extracellular forms. She told me she needed to go over the slide with her supervisor in the morning for "speciation." We were both very excited.

The Maryland state health department states there has been only one confirmed case of Babesia in the state. Hence, all the ID docs dismiss all positive Babesia serologies as "false positives."

One of my patients made a ranting youtube video after consulting two ID docs at Hopkins. He is very sick and showed them: positive serology for B. duncan, a positive FISH test and a positive PCR test. One of the docs didn't know what B duncani is. He was told: " We don't use that lab." (IgeneX) "What lab do you use," he inquired. Response: " Different labs - we just don't use that one."

The health officials says PCR (false positives, experimental) isn't good enough to confirm a case. You need microscopic confirmation.

Here it was, the second confirmed case in the state of Maryland I thought. (Incentally, the same mill lab posted positive serology for B. microti for this patient).

But somewhere in the back of my mind it knew it was too good to be true. The supervisor from the lab in NC told me: " well, its only in a few cells, not enough for me to call it, will report it as a possible parasite, unable to "speciate."

"I am not looking for a species identification, just a genus."

Point ignored: "We see a lot of plasmodium in our lab."

"Well they are easy to see," I told him, "infect a lot of red blood cells. The point with Babesia is only a tiny percent of RBCs are infected - and the ring form is a classic presentation!" I got the impression he didn't know what I was talking about. "How many Babesia do you see in your lab?"

"About one per year, mostly from New England."

He suggested that I order a PCR to confirm the diagnosis if I suspected it. Fat chance.

He agreed that the tech did a great job and was sorry he couldn't help.

9 comments:

glytzhkof said...

Murky waters. I keep wondering if the effectiveness of Plaquenil in my Lyme case could indicate a red-cell infection of some sort. Not sure Plaquenil is effective against anything but Malaria though.

lorr said...

how do i contact you if you can take me as a patient? or if you know of any doctors in upstate newyork in rochester?? thank you.

pso said...

How do you know babs is gone? If you are asymptomatic, yet positive on fish test and duncani test, and treat w/mepron, how do you determine if treatment was successful?

pso said...

This is unbelievable. My daughter, age 10, was confirmed positive by Igenex. Do llmd's have to report cases to the health dept? I am saddened that igenex results aren't considered valid. This is a threat to the national blood supply!

lorr said...

does anyone know how to contact this doctor?

Lyme report: Montgomery County, MD said...

As in most things Lyme. "they" speak out of both sides of their mouths.

For purposes of blood transfusion your daughter's blood will be rejected.

The health department just says it is not a "documented" case.

troutfarm said...

Two words Chanca Piedra ~ problem solved!

Karen said...

My daughter is in her fourth month of mepron. She had a 160 and a positive fish test, so no doubt she has babs. She is asymptomatic. How will we know when we have beaten it and to stop treatment??

worriedmom said...

Hey! Thank you for taking care of us and standing up in the face of all that nonsense and lunacy. My child would have been lost without you!!

any word on when the Babesia show will be airing?