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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How accurate are Blood smears for Babesia testing? Anyone tested positive by smear?

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Author Topic: How accurate are Blood smears for Babesia testing? Anyone tested positive by smear?
Stefan
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How accurate are Blood smears for Babesia testing?
Is the chance good to find it via bloodsmear?

I tested negative for babs with antibodie test here in germany.

Are there cross reactivitys between the babs antibodie tests? I was only tested for one strain.

But I have the typical babs symptoms(Flush;Sweating,Dark urine, Air hunger...)

Posts: 188 | From Germany | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
seekhelp
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No cross-reactivity between Microti and Duncani (WA-1). The odds of finding chronic Babesia in a blood smear =1-2% at best. Ab test means little if there truly are 20+ strains of Babesia. But like Bb, who the hell knows if all 20 strains cause symptoms.

If ill, it's probably worth trying to treat it with appropriate drugs and see if you improve (if you have access to them).

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Stefan
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ok thank you and its only standard blood smear what they do here. No Fish etc.
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lou
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If you can find a lab that will spend hours looking at the slide, you have a better chance of it being found, if there. But, it can be hard to find infected cells in chronic babesia. An acute illness with such bad symptoms that you are hospitalized, that might be easier. Generally only a specialist lab will do this kind of searching, and the one we had in the U.S. that did such a good job went out of business. They were looking at stained blood slides under a microscope, like in the old days.

The FISH test is different, more high tech and modern:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_in_situ_hybridization

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seekhelp
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I'm coming to the conclusion the only hope is to do the work yourself Lou. Sad.
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Beachinit
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I agree with lou. I did my own smear from a finger stick which is better than a smear taken from a tube of blood as malaria and babesia tend to congregate in the fingertip. Even so, I had to look for 20 minutes, looking at several thousand normal red blood cells, to find the one
red cell that contained a parasite (maltese cross configuration of Babesia, not sure of type.) I have since treated for Babesia and had antibody tests and smears from whole blood both come back negative, these were run by VA medical center in northeast. In theory the flourescent
FISH technique would make the babesia easier to spot on a slide with many thousands of cells but I have not heard of enough positive results with that test to judge its sensitivity. I think the patience of the microscopist will greatly determine the sensitivity of any slide/smear type test.

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Ideas not advice.

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seekhelp
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if it is that hard to find one infected cell, why would we be so impacted healthwise? Makes no sense.
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MariaA
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one theory is that it's actually found in bone marrow or other compartments rather than just red blood cells. I think we sometimes rely on the malaria model a bit too much, and researchers have missed things like the bone marrow findings because they're too focused on the red blood cells component.

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Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

Find me at Lymefriends, I post under the same name.
diet: http://lymefriends.ning.com/group/healthylowcarbrecipes
Homemade Probiotics thread
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