Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/16170
Retrospective study of the epidemiological risk and serological diagnosis of human babesiosis in Asturias, Northwestern Spain
Parasit Vectors. 2023 Jun 9;16(1):195.
Background: Babesiosis is a globally growing tick-borne disease in humans. Severe babesiosis caused by Babesia divergens has been reported in two patients from Asturias (Northwestern Spain), suggesting an undetected risk for the disease. To analyze this risk, we retrospectively evaluated the seroprevalence of babesiosis in the Asturian population from 2015 through 2017, a period covering the intermediate years in which these two severe cases occurred. Methods: Indirect fluorescent assay (IFA) and Western blot (WB) were performed to detect B. divergens IgG antibodies in 120 serum samples from Asturian patients infected with the tick-transmitted spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, a condition that indicates exposure to tick bites. Results: This retrospective study confirmed a B. divergens seroprevalence rate of 39.2% according to IFA results. B. divergens incidence was 7.14 cases/100,000 population, exceeding previously reported seroprevalence rates. No differences in epidemiology and risk factors were found between patients infected solely with B. burgdorferi s.l. and those infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. and with IgG antibodies against B. divergens. This last group of patients lived in Central Asturias, had a milder clinical course and, according to WB results, developed different humoral responses against B. divergens. Conclusions: Babesia divergens parasites have circulated for several years in Asturias. Epidemiological evidence of babesiosis makes Asturias an emerging risk area for this zoonosis. Human babesiosis could also be relevant in other Spanish and European regions affected by borreliosis. Hence, the potential risk of babesiosis on human health in Asturias and other European forest regions needs to be addressed by the health authorities.
Babesiosis | Babesia | Animals | Humans | Retrospective Studies | Spain | Seroepidemiologic Studies | Immunoglobulin G
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