NYMC Faculty Publications

Frequency and Magnitude of Seroreactivity to Babesia Microti in 245 Patients Diagnosed by PCR in New York State

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Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease

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Multiple methodologies have been used to detect antibodies to Babesia microti. Use of an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) has been the most widely used approach, but IFAs have varied as to which antibody class or classes are being detected and in regard to cutoff titers. In this study, 245 different patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed B. microti infection were tested by a polyvalent IFA using serum collected within 3 days of the date the blood sample for PCR testing was obtained. Of the 245 patients, 243 (99.2%) had a positive serologic test result (i.e., ≥1:64). Of the 243 patients who were seropositive, 242 (99.6%) had a titer of ≥1:256, 236 (97.1%) had a titer of ≥1:512, and 210 (86.4%) had a titer of ≥1:1024. In conclusion, high titer seropositivity based on a polyvalent IFA is to be expected at the time of PCR confirmation of active babesiosis in clinical practice.

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