First screening tests approved for tickborne parasite

March 7, 2018

(HealthDay)—The first set of blood screening tests for the tickborne parasite Babesia microti have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Also dubbed B. microti, the parasite infects 1,000 to 2,000 people per year in the United States, the agency said in a news release. In addition to being carried by blacklegged or , the disease also can be transmitted via the blood, organs or tissue of an infected donor.

"While [the disease] babesiosis is both preventable and treatable, until today, there was no way to screen for infections amongst blood donors," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Most people infected with the parasite don't develop symptoms and are never diagnosed, the FDA said. Some people develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches.

For some people with weakened immune systems, however, the infection may become life-threatening, the agency added.

The set of tests, known as the Imugen Babesia microti Arrayed Fluorescent Immunoassay, are not meant to diagnose the disease, the FDA warned.

The tests are produced by the British pharma firm Oxford Immunotech. Results can only be produced at the company's facility in Norwood, Mass., the agency said.

Explore further: Screening cuts transfusion-transmitted babesiosis risk

More information: Visit the FDA to learn more.

Related Stories

Screening cuts transfusion-transmitted babesiosis risk

December 9, 2016
(HealthDay)—Screening for Babesia microti antibodies and DNA in blood-donation samples is associated with a reduction in the risk of transfusion-transmitted babesiosis, according to a study published in the Dec. 8 issue ...

Combination therapy cures tick-borne illness in mice

June 6, 2016
A novel combination therapy cures an emerging infectious disease, babesiosis, which is transmitted by the same ticks that transmit the agents of Lyme disease, said Yale researchers. This "radical" therapy not only clears ...

First test to detect Zika in blood donations approved

October 9, 2017
(HealthDay)—The cobas Zika test has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—the first approved screening test to detect the Zika virus in blood donations.

Lyme disease enhances spread of emerging tick infection

December 29, 2014
Mice that are already infected with the pathogen that causes Lyme disease appear to facilitate the spread of a lesser-known but emerging disease, babesiosis, into new areas.

Tick-borne illness babesiosis a hazard for seniors: FDA

July 2, 2013
(HealthDay)—A tick-borne illness that can be severe or fatal among seniors, newborns and people with weakened immune systems is becoming more common in certain parts of the United States, federal health officials warn.

Recommended for you

Pre-clinical success for a universal flu vaccine offers hope for third generation approach

September 21, 2018
Researchers from the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology have demonstrated pre-clinical success for a universal flu vaccine in a new paper published in Nature Communications.

Fighting a deadly parasite: Scientists devise a method to store Cryptosporidium, aiding vaccine research efforts

September 21, 2018
In May, just before one of the hottest summers on record, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about diseases lurking in recreational water facilities like swimming pools and water playgrounds. ...

Scientists make significant discovery in the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis

September 20, 2018
A team of scientists have identified a naturally occurring antibiotic that may help in the fight against drug-resistant Tuberculosis.

Anti-cancer drugs may hold key to overcoming antimalarial drug resistance

September 20, 2018
Scientists have found a way to boost the efficacy of the world's most powerful antimalarial drug with the help of chemotherapy medicines, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Affordable Care Act: Study finds surprising gaps in HIV care providers' knowledge

September 20, 2018
A new study has revealed surprising gaps in some HIV medical providers' knowledge of the Affordable Care Act, with more than a quarter of providers surveyed unable to say whether their state had expanded Medicaid.

Preventing a dengue outbreak at the 2020 Summer Olympics

September 20, 2018
In 2014, a dengue outbreak unexpectedly occurred in Tokyo. What does that mean for the 2020 summer Olympics and Paralympics being held in the city? Researchers report this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases that new ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.