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Description:

The Babesia IgG Antibodies test is designed to detect the presence of babesia, a tick-borne bacteria, which can cause fever, anemia, and jaundice. 

 

Babesia is a tick-borne bacterium that can cause babesiosis and pathogens that attack red blood cells. It is transmitted by the same Ixodes tick implicated in Borrelia. There are over 100 different species of Babesia.

 

Symptoms of Babesia can often be nonspecific and include fatigue, malaise, chills and headache. Some of the symptoms also mimic malaria. However, most cases of human babesiosis are probably sub-clinical and occur as a self-limiting illness. People who are older or ill with other conditions may experience the symptoms of babesiosis. These may first appear within one month to one year after exposure and include fatigue and loss of appetite. As the infection grows more severe, symptoms may include fever, chills, drenching sweats, muscle aches, jaundice and headache.

 

Babesiosis occurs principally in the spring, summer, and fall in the coastal areas of the United States, especially on the offshore islands of New York and Massachusetts. Bite cases of babesiosis have been reported in Georgia, California, and Wisconsin, as well as in Europe. Babesiosis is currently considered a health threat throughout the US, as cases of the infection and deaths have occurred in areas where the risk of infection was not believed to exist previously.

 

Antibodies test:

After a person is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes most cases of Lyme disease, their immune system will recognize the infection and react by producing antibodies against the bacterium. This is usually a two-step process. IgM antibodies are the first wave of attack. They appear within 3-4 weeks after initial infection and hit peak concentrations in about 6-8 weeks. IgM antibodies can persist for several months before they are no longer detectable.

 

The second phase of response is the production of IgG antibodies. They appear 6-8 weeks after infection and hit their peak concentrations at 4-6 months. Once infected, a person’s IgG level may remain detectable for the rest of his/her life.

 

The spirochetes are tissue-loving organisms; therefore, their presence is transient in blood and other body fluids. One of the most important factors in laboratory tests for Lyme disease is timing the collection of the samples. If you obtain the sample too early or the patient doesn’t have a strong enough immune response, you may get a false negative test result.

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