This is topic Did I ever have Babiseosis?? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by Jon (Member # 9123) on :
I ask myself this question after 3.5 months of mepron/ zithromax and 4 months of antibiotics without a SHRED of improvement.

Anyways after looking at my bloodwork for the Babesia test for Igenex it says:

B. microti, IgM <1:20 TITER
B. microti, IgG 1:20 TITER

My LLMD said I tested positive for Babs, but these results don't necessarily point to a positive, am I wrong?

I never had sweating, Just hot flashes that would come and go. They seemed to have gone away after treatment.

I dont know anymore if I even have Lyme Disease since antibiotics failed so miserabily!! I figured, Since I have Babs, I most likely have Lyme Since my symptoms match it. But now I dont know if I have babs...

Any suggestions? And can someone interpret these Igenex Babs results??

Thanks so much. [kiss]
Posted by Beverly (Member # 1271) on :
Hi Jon,

I don't know the answer to your question, but I am so sorry you have not had any improvement. [Frown]

If you haven't tried alternative treatments already, maybe something like that would help?

I made good progress with babs treatment, same with my son. I didn't have drenching night sweats either, but I did have the hot flashes.
I also have made a lot of discoveries along the way, I have gluten intolerance, mercury toxicity and I needed to heal my gut.

Have you been tested for food allergies? Mercury? any other toxins?

I am sorry I could not be of more help. I hope you find something that helps you to feel better.
Posted by Michelle M (Member # 7200) on :
(from IGeneX website):

Detection of Babesia IgM and IgG Antibodies in Serum by the Indirect Immunofluorescent Antibody Assay (IFA)

This immunofluorescent assay (IFA) indirectly detects Babesia-specific IgG or IgM antibodies in patient serum. Red blood cells from Syrian hamsters, infected with Babesia parasites, are fixed on a glass slide.

Patient serum is added, and the patient's B. microti-specific IgG or IgM antibodies bind to the parasites in the infected red blood cells. In the third step, a labeled anti-human antibody is added. Fluorescence occurs if Babesia-specific antibodies are present. The slides must be read with a fluorescent microscope.


Assays for Babesia are usually performed using IFA against cells containing the organism. For the IFA, patient serum is titered using doubling dilutions.

These dilutions start at 1:8 or 1:10. Thus, an assay starting at 1:8 would have values at 1:16, 1:32, 1:64, 1:128, 1:256, 1:512, 1:1024, etc., and an assay starting at 10 would have values at 1:20, 1:40, 1:80, 1:160, 1:320, 1:640; 1:1280, etc.

Cut-off ranges between a laboratory negative and a laboratory positive sample are comparable for most clinical laboratories. The laboratory positive must be statistically different (mean +/- 2SD) from the negative sample. This does not imply that a titer of 1:40 or 1:80 is clinically significant. In fact, a positive antibody test by itself implies nothing. However, a positive antibody test, with appropriate clinical symptoms (determined by a physician), can lead to a diagnosis.

Positive Babesiosis titers are generally 1:160 or higher. Early in disease the titers may rise 4-fold to 1:1280. Later in disease the titer falls. For this reason, the testing of paired samples 4 to 6 weeks apart improves the diagnostic efficiency.

Diagnosis based on antibody response requires the seroconversion of infected individuals toward production of anti-Babesia antibodies. Unfortunately, this approach does not always work because:

* At the height of Babesiosis (within weeks of the initial bite) a patient with fever may fail to have evidence of antibody.
* Antibodies often persist long after the symptoms have disappeared.
* Polyclonal antibody-based tests lack specificity.


If your LLMD felt you had babesia and you responded to antibabesial medication, well, there you go. I do notice that your IgG significantly is NOT reading less than <1.20 like your IgM; in conjunction with symptoms I would think that's meaningful. But ask your doctor. Sometimes very low titers indicate a chronic babesial infection.

Posted by Jon (Member # 9123) on :
Interesting thanks for the replies... I'm actually going back to the herbal approach, i felt a million times better when I was on it before the abx..

Yes a low titter means chronic infection.
But what would someone get who had no babesia in their system? 1:00 ??

How can one test for food allergies? I live in Canada and the medical system here is a joke.

thanks again.
Posted by bpeck (Member # 3235) on :
Here's my opinion- unpopular as it may be to some people:

Babesia is a parasite that lives in and destroys Red blood cells.
The spleen is the organ that filters, sorts, and repairs Red blood cells, returning the repaied ones into circulation.

In most adults, without AIDS, and with a spleen, Babesia produces fever (sometimes severe) and can destroy Red blood cells at the rate that can kill the person.
Just like in Malaria- if the parasitic percentage of infection is high enough- a RBC smear will show infected RBCS. There is documented cases where RBC exchange saved the patient who had a high % of RBCs infected (dx is by blood smear).

In the absence of a RBC smear showing infection, the next thing to look for (for dxing Babs or some strains of Malaria) is destroyed RBC fragments in the blood.
They have names like schitozites, helmut cells, etc..if they're in the blood, then the spleen can't filter them out fast enough. And with Babesia or Malaria the patient will have anemia.

In people with a compromised immune system (supress by another disease) and/or with asplenia Babesia or some species of Malariamay become chronic and the person may have periodic fever- and their blood show destroyed RBCs.

If the person does *not* have (and has never had) a positive blood smear, positive FISH test, or the blood profile with anemia with fever to support the dx- then I personally doubt the person has Babesia.

If a person with subjective symptoms (but not the objective symptoms I listed above) and takes a long course of Mepron, and then they say they still feel the same-
then I don't think they had Babs to begin with. Their symptoms are probably from something else.

Posted by Robin61 (Member # 5470) on :
Jon, If you are not having any improvement on the mepron it could be that the mepron is not working. I did months and months of Mepron with no improvement then on to Malarone with a little improvement in high doses too. Now on Clindamycin and Quinine and having lots of improvement feeling close to being well. I think there is different strains to this stuff and different strain are more sensitive to different meds ! Best WIshes! Robin in Houston
Posted by Lymied (Member # 6704) on :
I had babesia - I had extreme symptoms and was extremely ill - had lost fifty lbs by the time I found my LLMD.

My titer was not necessarily positive but the FISH test that IgeneX does was extremely positive.

I was on a month of Mepron/Zith and herxed really hard. I only did a month and a half of tX. I improved.

Now, I have many lymie friends who seemd to contract babesia and it has relapsed in their cases many times.

It is elusive. My first six months of treatment were horrible. Three months into treatment I was even sicker than I had been before treatment. It took a good six months before I started improving.

If you are chronic then it will most likely be another three months or more before you start feeling you have a foot hold.

As far as babesia, the symptoms are typically night sweats and day sweats, dizziness, anemia, loss of appetite, weight loss, migraines, chills, dark urine...of course you might have just one or many of these symptoms. As well, I know people that have tested positively that never even knew they had it.

Once again you can't trust testing - you have to go on symptomology.
Posted by SForsgren (Member # 7686) on :
I entirely disagree with bpeck. I had no positive FISH and no peristent fever and yet I have a postive antibody test to Babesia. It is much more complex than positive FISH or fever. That is much like saying people without an EM rash do not have Lyme disease.
Posted by Jon (Member # 9123) on :
I've never had a sweat in my life. I actually wish I sweat more, 15 minutes in a sauna and nothing!
Posted by Beverly (Member # 1271) on :
Wow, so much good information above.

Hey same here Jon, the first time I went into a sauna it took me 20-25 mins to break a sweat! I really hated the summers because I didn't sweat right.

Here is some informaiton from Tincup about food allergy testing, I don't know if this will be helpful in Canada or not.

This is part of her post....
"I HIGHLY recommend all people with chronic illness (especially those on antibiotics) have this test. I was shocked to learn of the 58 food allergies I have. I am allergic to the foods I have come to like the most and actually crave. They are NOT the typical food allergies like milk, peanuts, etc.

are things I continued to eat because they are ?good for me?! It is still hard to
believe that lettuce, carrots, honey, garlic, blueberries, apples, wild rice,

spinach, wheat bran, oranges, etc are now NOT good for me. Never in a million years would I have even suspected those foods were causing me problems.

But... Now I know. Now I can deal with it. Now I feel better.
Since I have eliminated the offending foods, I have seen a dramatic improvement in a very short time in many symptoms.

Less nasal sinus
congestion, much more energy, less fogginess, less ?flu-like? symptoms, less muscle pain, better digestion, less depression, less stomach problems, etc. It still amazes me how much better I feel with some simple dietary changes. And a bonus.. Once the tests are done... the cure is free!!!

You say... I can?t think of giving up the foods I love? Not to worry. The Lab has developed a plan that will eliminate the offending foods for a time and they can be slowly reintroduced later. Many people who follow this plan can return the foods to their regular diet and do just fine. The lab sends a color coded, VERY easy to read print out of the individual tests and results. They also include information on how to deal with the allergies and read the reports.

I only wish I would have had this test MUCH sooner. I could have avoided many sick days and would have been much happier for it.
I contacted the nice folks at the Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab where my tests were done. The tests ARE covered by some insurance companies.
Medicare pays approximately half of the charges. They suggest you contact your own insurance company for information and approval.

If you do not have insurance and/or want to pay ?up front?, the prices are posted below for you. The Food Antibody Test and Vegetarian Add-on Test included 88 different foods. In my opinion, if you are going to do the Food
Antibody test.. go ahead and do the vegetarian add on.

If you are going to do this.. do it right.
Food Antibody Assessment Test- $144.00
The Vegetarian Add-On- $31.50
They also have a test for ?spices? that includes things like cinnamon, cloves,
bay leaves, etc. I didn?t do this test but am considering doing it now. $72.00

There is another test for 36 inhalants, such as pollen, molds, flowers, weeds, etc. That test is $126.00 up front. I did not get that one done cause I didn't know about it at the time.
They will send you or your doctor a ?kit? and information. If you want to get the kit yourself you must get a doctor to fax them a prescription first or you can send a copy of the prescription to them.

I do hope you all will consider this test. It has really helped me feel better... or I wouldn?t recommend it. You KNOW I wouldn?t! "

Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab Food Antibody test:

Misc. information
Interview concerning food allergies:

Food allergy articles:
Posted by Dave6002 (Member # 9064) on :
Barb, You have a powerful analysis for Babesia.

Although, my Babesia antibody test and FISH were negative, and one month of Mepron/Zith did nothing, I still believe I had "Babesia". I herxed and improved on Artemisinin and Artemisia anua herb treatment.

By treatng "Babesia", I am now 90% recovered. I still have palpitation and chest pain, headach, all of them , I atribute to "Babesia".

"Babesia" may not be Malaria-like, could be totally different when presents as a coinfection: Babesia may not mainly infect red blood cells, might infect other types of cells, probably neurons. That could explain we have a alot of neuro symptoms.

Posted by bpeck (Member # 3235) on :

You have every right to disagree with me and/or hold a different opinion.

I will agree that these topics are complicated... but don't try to twist around what I've said just because you disagree.

I'm stating my opinion from the research I've done on Babesia and uncomplicated Malaria, the symptoms, and testing methods for both parasites - and my own case.

Read the symptoms Lymied had. His case illustrates my point of the symptoms of an acute case.

My reply was to the original poster Jon- who's starting to question whether he's really infected with Babesia.. I think he's smart to question it. I agree with his thinking.

And Dave- Yes correct- these parasites to not exculsively infect just RBCs.. Babesia and Malaria both have several stages to their life cycle- and live in various organs depending on the stage.

Posted by Michelle M (Member # 7200) on :
Originally posted by Jon:
I've never had a sweat in my life. I actually wish I sweat more, 15 minutes in a sauna and nothing!

Jon, same here. In fact I'm usually frozen, layering up with clothes due to chills.

A lot of emphasis is put on these 'sweats' as a symptom of babesia.

For me, extreme migraine 24/7 and perpetual chills, in addition to simply not getting better with lyme treatment, was key to figuring out something else was going on. I then tested positive for Babesia WA-1, taking a stab at doing the single and cheapest test for my area, around $60, and got "lucky."

However, my LLMD was pushing to treat me for babesia regardless of test results and despite a lack of 'classic' symptoms.

Turns out he would have been spot-on correct. That's why they call it 'clinical judgment' - and it's worth a lot!


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