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Laboratory Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Infections

Part 2


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Main Morphologic Features Table

Slide 13

July 2010

First, it is important to note that neither organism enlarges the size of the red blood cell that they are infecting. And this is in contrast to infections with Plasmodium ovale and plasmodium vivax, which are other species that cause human malaria. The parasitic forms of Plasmodium falciparum and Babesia speciesare also similar to one another in that they most often form ring-shapes.

Less commonly, banana-shaped gametocytes may be seen in Plasmodium falciparum infections, which are diagnostic for this parasite. Also, the rings of the Babesia species are typically more pleomorphic than those of Plasmodium falciparum, and it’s common to see oval, spindled, or even amoeboid forms. When they align in a tetrad or what is called a maltese cross configuration, this is diagnostic for babesiosis. Finally, extracellular forms are a common feature of babesiosis but not Plasmodium falciparum.

Main Morphologic Features Table


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