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Laboratory Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Infections

Part 2


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Potential Disadvantages

Slide 22

July 2010

Another potential disadvantage of PCR in this setting is that PCR may detect residual DNA when no viable organism is present. In a study by Krause and colleagues, babesial DNA persisted for a mean of 16 days in 22 subjects following treatment, so it can take some time to clear all of the DNA from the blood stream. Also, PCR tests for babesiosis may not detect all species, and the clinician needs to be familiar with the specificity of the test used by the laboratory.

In addition to Babesia microti, there are several different species of Babesia that cause human babesiosis, including Babesia divergens, Babesia duncani (which was previously referred to as WA-1 because it was first isolated in Washington state), and the newly described MO-1 strain from Missouri State. And these organisms are genetically distinct; so they may not be detected by PCR assays that are specific for Babesia microti.

Potential Disadvantages


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