This is topic Bowen for babesia in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by robi (Member # 5547) on :
Anyone have any luck finding their babesia on this test? All my other tests are neg, but I think I have it.

Posted by notime2work (Member # 6092) on :
Mine came back positive. LLMD said he didn't normally go by the Bowen results, but since it showed babesia being positive, he believed it was a valid diagnosis.
Posted by seibertneurolyme (Member # 6416) on :
Hubby had one positive and one negative for Babesia from Bowen. Dr B on Long Island treated based on positive result -- don't think a negative test from them would rule it out. Pretty sure hubby still has it.

Would suggest taking artemesinin or some babs med prior to test to increase odds of positive test -- just my opinion.

Bea Seibert
Posted by SForsgren (Member # 7686) on :
Bowen was neg for Babs for me but I had it as evidenced by later blood tests through IGeneX. Some doctors have suggested that Bowen is not the best place for coinfection testing and that they miss it often.
Posted by robi (Member # 5547) on :
anyone else?

I was told this was the place to get a bas test ...... don't want to waste more $$ if its not.

Thanks for experiences shared so far

Posted by lymesly (Member # 8528) on :
Originally posted by seibertneurolyme:
Would suggest taking artemesinin or some babs med prior to test to increase odds of positive test -- just my opinion.

Bea Seibert

Great Idea!!!! It worked for me.

Posted by AlisonP (Member # 7771) on :
I was tested for Babs first through Bowen and then through Igenex. I was negative on both, even though I and my LLMD suspected I had it. Sigh....

I do know that they can only test for a few strains of babs and that there are supposedly a lot more strains out there, so I still don't know for sure.

Posted by WildCondor (Member # 434) on :
I was positive for Babesia through Bowen, and treated because of it, and it made a difference too. It was the buffy coat smear test i believe.
Posted by lou (Member # 81) on :
Bowen is looking at a blood slide for a longer length of time than any other lab. However, if it is a very low level infection, it could still be missed. The advantage with them is they will be able to find all species of babesia, not just the two that are currently recognized by other labs.

Labs doing different kinds of tests can miss it if they aren't looking for all kinds of babesia, and no one is doing this.

So, even at the best labs it could be missed. This is why clinical diagnosis still applies to all tickborne diseases, in my opinion. It really is not a matter of whether IGeneX or Bowen is better for co-infections (or other labs) but what kind of tests are done and the normal limitations of any lab tests. Patients need to understand this before they talk about this subject, and pass judgements.

If you had the money, you could cover all the bases and get tested at more than one lab. Knowing of course that those sly babs parasites can elude all labs. So, another option is to go by symptoms and skip lab testing. If medical boards were not watching every move, this might be a more viable option.
Posted by SForsgren (Member # 7686) on :
To be clear, for me and many others Bowen has been a useful test. I support it. I mention it on my web site, etc. However, I do not think it is as useful for coinfections as I do for Bb itself. I would suggest that, if able, multiple coinfection tests are warranted. I do not think that doing the Bowen test alone and having a negative coinfection result is the place where you should stop. You have to keep looking for them. The odds are - they are there.
Posted by lou (Member # 81) on :
Here are just two of the newer species of babesia being discovered that no one is looking for in our babesia testing, unless they are using a blood smear. If they find these babesia species in ticks that bite us and in animals subject to the same ticks, then chances are some of us are getting them also.

Vet Parasitol. 2006 Mar 6;

Babesia conradae, sp. Nov., a small canine Babesia identified in

Kjemtrup AM, Wainwright K, Miller M, Penzhorn BL, Carreno RA.

California Department of Health Services, Vector-Borne Disease Section,
1616 Capital Avenue, MS 7307, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413, USA;
Department of Zoology, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH 43015,

Small piroplasms as a cause of canine babesiosis have usually been
identified as Babesia gibsoni. Recent genetic studies suggested that
small piroplasms are more likely comprised of at least three
genotypically distinct species.

In southern California, canine
babesiosis caused by a small piroplasm has been documented since 1990.
Morphological characteristics of this parasite include a small
(0.3-3.0mum) intraerythrocytic merozoite stage with predominantly ring,
piriform, tetrad, amoeboid, or anaplasmoid forms.

Transmission electron
microscopic images of merozoites demonstrate the presence of an apical
complex consisting of an inner subplasmalemmal membrane and rhoptries.

Based on phylogenetic analyses of the 18S rRNA and the ITS-2 genes, the
Californian small piroplasm isolate is more closely related to
piroplasm isolates from wildlife and humans in the western United
States than it is to B. gibsoni.

Molecular and morphologic evidence
supports naming the small piroplasm from southern California as a
distinct species, Babesia conradae.

PMID: 16524663


Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Apr;10(4):622-9.

Babesia divergens-like infection, Washington State.

Herwaldt BL, de Bruyn G, Pieniazek NJ, Homer M, Lofy KH, Slemenda SB, Fritsche TR, Persing DH, Limaye AP.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Most reported U.S. zoonotic cases of babesiosis have occurred in the Northeast and been caused by Babesia microti. In Washington State, three cases of babesiosis have been reported previously, which were caused by WA1 (for "Washington 1")-type parasites.

We investigated a case of babesiosis in Washington in an 82-year-old man whose spleen had been removed and whose parasitemia level was 41.4%. The complete 18S ribosomal RNA gene of the parasite was amplified from specimens of his whole blood by polymerase chain reaction.

Phylogenetic analysis showed the parasite is most closely related, but not identical, to B. divergens (similarity score, 99.5%), a bovine parasite in Europe. By indirect fluorescent-antibody testing, his serum reacted to B. divergens but not to B. microti or WA1 antigens.

This case demonstrates that babesiosis can be caused by novel parasites detectable by manual examination of blood smears but not by serologic or molecular testing for B. microti or WA1-type parasites.

PMID: 15200851 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Posted by SForsgren (Member # 7686) on :
Immunosciences tests for more strains of Babesia than Igenex does from what I understand but I do not know which specific strains they are looking for.
Posted by robi (Member # 5547) on :
Had the Bowen Test. Babs and Erlichia negative,

Lyme 1:128 ........ thats after 2 years on lots of abx. [Frown] [Frown] [Frown] Pretty damn depressed.
Posted by klutzo (Member # 5701) on :
Hi all,
Maybe this is a dumb question but....if you continually test negative for coinfections at different places and times, could it be that your non-Borrelia caused symptoms are due to the reactivated viruses that happen as a result of Lyme altering the immune system?

I had two negative Bowen's for Coinfections, despite being highly positive for Borrelia (1:128). Note to ROBI - My dilution went down to 1:32 after 6 months of herbal tx might want to try it.

Since I live only 12 miles from Bowen, I called up and asked to talk to one of Bowen's lab people, and she told me they look at two different slides of blood from two different parts of each sample, when testing for coinfections. She did say it could be missed, but it would be unlikely.

On the other hand, I have reactivated HHV6, CMV, and Coxsackie B3 viruses, all of which can cause major illness and even death.

My Cardiologist has repeatedly told me he does not believe borrelia caused my heart damage. He thinks it was most likely the CMV, or maybe the HHV6, and he has many Lyme patients in his practice. So could we be barking up the wrong tree here?

Posted by Semi-Retired (Member # 7722) on :

I don't know if you've seen my recent post but I wonder about this too. Nothing has worked for Lyme and I'm going downhill quickly. What kind of heart damage do you have? Low cardiac output?

Are you familiar with Dr. Lerner, the CFS doc, and his work? He uses antivirals, Valtrex for EBV and Galcanclovir(sp) (I think) for CMV.

Low cardiac output = heart failure and he believes it is caused by these viruses. Have you ever tried a hard core antiviral? Perhaps something to consider.

If you're interested, do a search for "Dr. Lerner and CFS" and good info should pop up. Sorry, off topic for the thread. PM me if you wish,

Posted by klutzo (Member # 5701) on :
I have MVPS, 3 prolapsed and regurgitating heart valves, occassional atrial fibrillation, and Paroxysmal SupraVentricular tachycardia (PSVT). The PSVT has made me into a fearful, semi-hermit.

I have heard of Dr. L, but not looked into him. I am sorry to hear tabers had such a bad experience.

I will do the search you suggested, but generally, I take herbs, and I have taken several courses of anti-viral herbs and been pronounced "clean" by my holistic doc. Do I believe! I dont think viruses can be eliminated....they just go dormant.

I know people who have taken hard core anti-virals gone into complete remission for awhile, but then the drugs just suddenly stopped working. I've seen this several times, so I am leery of trying it, since it would be heartbreaking to feel that good again and lose it.


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