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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Babesia Testing Suggestions

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Author Topic: Babesia Testing Suggestions
kms1990
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Hi All,

I am looking for some help regarding babesia testing. My doctor and I both think its possible I have babesia based on my symptoms and also based on the fact that I had a positive IFA IGG test @ a level of 80 from Igenex for Babesia Duncan. However, the babesia FISH test and IGM test were both negative from Igenex. I have now also just completed a Giemsa stain test from Quest which also was negative. The lab noted “Due to the cyclical shed rates of these parasites, one negative specimen does not rule out the possibility of a parasitic infection. Examination of specimens collected at 6 hour intervals for 36 hours, provides a comprehensive examination.”. Would you suggest a better lab to test for Babeisa? I wonder if there is a specialty lab for Babesia like there is for Bartonella (Galaxy). Can anyone recommend the best way to test for this infection?

Thank you

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TF
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Breaking up this post so everyone can read it:

Hi All,

I am looking for some help regarding babesia testing.

My doctor and I both think its possible I have babesia based on my symptoms and also based on the fact that I had a positive IFA IGG test @ a level of 80 from Igenex for Babesia Duncan.

However, the babesia FISH test and IGM test were both negative from Igenex.

I have now also just completed a Giemsa stain test from Quest which also was negative. The lab noted

“Due to the cyclical shed rates of these parasites, one negative specimen does not rule out the possibility of a parasitic infection.

Examination of specimens collected at 6 hour intervals for 36 hours, provides a comprehensive examination.”.

Would you suggest a better lab to test for Babeisa? I wonder if there is a specialty lab for Babesia like there is for Bartonella (Galaxy). Can anyone recommend the best way to test for this infection?

Thank you

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TF
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Did you ever get tested for babesia microti, IgG and IgM through Igenex?

Since you are in New Jersey, I assume you got lyme in the east. Microti is the traditional eastern strain and duncani is the traditional western strain.

So, just wondering why you were tested for the western strain instead of the eastern strain.

Also, if you have the symptoms and that suspicious duncani test result, just treat for babs and see how your body reacts. That can give you the answer big time!

I really had no symptoms of babs, but I got a positive Igenex b.microti FISH. When I started treating babs, all hell broke loose!

So, a trial course of treatment is often the best way of knowing for sure. And, it costs a lot less too.

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groovy2
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what are your Babs symptoms??

U sweat like a pig ?
low body temp ?

Have skin rash- small prickly heat type rash that has nerve reaction ?

cant sleep?

heart beat wacky- chest pain ? left side?

Tests are really poor once you have been sick for a while -

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kms1990
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Thanks for your replys.

@ TF - I think Duncan was tested for because I was living on the west coast at the time. I have lived in CA and NJ within the last year. I had the Microti test about a year ago with no positives. I think my doctor plans to try Mepron to see how I respond.

@groovy - I have low body temp. Cycles of poor circulation and air hunger. Little red dots on my skin. I have a reoccurring rash on my arm which is red and goes away and comes back. Lots of heart symptoms.

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Jordana
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I just ordered a test through parasitetesting.com. You can order a thin blood smear for 115 dollars by mail ( they'll send you the kit) and they look at it and test for ALL strains including divergens and MO-1.
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Neko
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quote:
Originally posted by TF:


Since you are in New Jersey, I assume you got lyme in the east. Microti is the traditional eastern strain and duncani is the traditional western strain.

So, just wondering why you were tested for the western strain instead of the eastern strain.

.

Not true. People on the east coast test positive for duncanni now. I did. I had night sweats, anemia, vertigo, etc.
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TF
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Neko, we know that both strains are everywhere now.

The question was why the patient from NJ got tested only for duncani.

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me
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I suggest a blood smear. All other tests showed up negative for me, but you could see it clearly with the blood smear.

--------------------
Just sharing my experiences, opinions, and what I've read and learned. Not medical advice.

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kms1990
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@ me - is that the same as a Giemsa stain? (I had this done and results were negative) But it was from quest labs.
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me
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I just googled your question, and it looks like they are the same. However, it did say that there are different types and that many factors can effect results.

Hopefully someone else will chime in with more info.

--------------------
Just sharing my experiences, opinions, and what I've read and learned. Not medical advice.

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Neko
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quote:
Originally posted by TF:
Neko, we know that both strains are everywhere now.

The question was why the patient from NJ got tested only for duncani.

Yeah that is strange. I was tested for microti and divergins through labcorp, plus a FISH test via Igenx.

Are we certain duncanni is found on the east coast...what are the chances of a false positive?

I have a doc who doesn't think I had babesia because my microti test was negative. She had no clue that there was a duncanni test.

The lab she uses didn't specify different strains of babesia so she thinks the test I have from labcorp is from " one of those bad labs where everyone tests positive."

No use arguing on that one.

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kms1990
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Its looking like babesia diagnosis might be even more tricky than lyme.
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kms1990
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Neko - yes I think there is some literature out there which shows Duncanni is found in east coast patients now.
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TF
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Neko, false positives are not an issue. This is only an issue as far as those against lyme patients--the Infectious Diseases Society of America-- are concerned. This group is wedded to the idea that lyme is RARE. The truth is, it is worse than an epidemic.

Lyme doctors will tell you that false positives are not a concern.

We are certain that duncani is found in people who are now on the east coast and in ticks that are now on the east coast. These things do not stay in certain geographic areas, just like birds and people do not stay in certain geographic areas.

Lyme doctors are reporting this and talking about it at lyme conferences, and I have friends who have both strains of babs and they are local to me. Nothing unusual at all.

There is also another strain of lyme in the U.S. This strain was originally thought to be only in Japan. See here:

http://www.bayarealyme.org/about-lyme/what-causes-lyme-disease/borrelia-miyamotoi/

Dr. H. reported the presence of miyamotoi in NY years ago. At that time, he said at a conference that there is no test for this strain.


kms, the coinfection tests are as bad if not worse than the lyme tests for unreliability. You can trust a positive test but a negative test is untrustworthy since the tests are so lousy.

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kms1990
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Thanks for the input TF. I sure hope my insurance covers the Babesia treatment, my doctor specifically mentioned the medication is very costly.
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TF
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Yes, Mepron is costly. I know a lyme doc who goes to bat with the insurance company if they refuse to pay.

So, if your company does that, get in touch with your doc and see if that changes things.

Also, shop around for the cheapest pharmacy for that particular med. Costco was cheapest years ago when I shopped around for a friend. And, you don't have to be a member of Costco to use their pharmacy. So, check them out. But, they may not take your credit card, just debit card.

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kms1990
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@ TF thanks for the suggestion. I am reading Malarone is as effective and cheaper. Any thoughts on that?
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TF
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They both contain atovaquone. Malarone is rather expensive also.

See this:

http://www.lymebook.com/antibiotic-treatment-for-babesia-bartonella-ehrlichia-co-infections

And, read what Burrascano says about them. Page 24. The key seems to be the level of atovaquone in the blood. So, if you get no results, have your level checked. And, be sure to pulse artimesinin with this.

Be sure to take it with fatty food so that it can be absorbed and you don't waste your money.

If money is an issue, find out the prices and try the cheaper one first. If it doesn't work, try the other one. Some people need to take both together, believe it or not.

It is NOT easy to get rid of babs.

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me
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Cryptolepis and artimisinim are also options. So is coartem. After I met my deductible, my insurance covered Malarone when I was on it and now covers mepron. However, they are still costly even with insurance.

I have babesia and my LLMD puts me in a minimum of two babesia meds at once.

Another symptom of babesia is crying often. Not sure if you have that symptom, but just an FYI.

Best.

--------------------
Just sharing my experiences, opinions, and what I've read and learned. Not medical advice.

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