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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015 Jan;21(1):96.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2014.07.004. Epub 2014 Oct 12.

A retrospective serological survey on human babesiosis in Belgium.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium; Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Electronic address: llempereur@hotmail.com.
2
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
3
Research Laboratory for Vector-borne Diseases, Queen Astrid Military Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.
4
INRA, UMR1300 BioEpAR, Biology, Epidemiology and Risk Analysis in Animal Health, Nantes, France; LUNAM Université, Oniris, UMR1300 BioEpAR, Nantes, France.
5
Research Unit in Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Applied to the Veterinary Sciences (UREAR-ULg), Fundamental and Applied Research for Animals & Health (FARAH), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.
6
Laboratory of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.

Abstract

In Europe, most clinical babesiosis cases in humans have been attributed to Babesia divergens and Babesia sp. EU1. Babesia microti infection of humans occurs mainly in the United States; although a case of autochthonous B. microti infection and serological evidence of infection have been reported in Europe. The Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test was used to screen sera from 199 anonymous Belgian patients with history of tick bite and clinical symptoms compatible with a tick-borne disease. The serological screen detected positive reactivity in 9% (n = 18), 33.2% (n = 66), and 39.7% (n = 79) of the samples against B. microti, B. divergens, and Babesia sp. EU1, respectively. Thus, evidence of contact among three potentially zoonotic species of Babesia and humans has been confirmed in Belgium. Preventive action and development of better diagnostic tools should help in prevention of clinical cases and to clarify the true burden of such infection for individuals and public health.

KEYWORDS:

Babesia spp.; Belgium; human; serology; zoonosis

PMID:
25636942
DOI:
10.1016/j.cmi.2014.07.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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