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Molecular Detection

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Reference Details


Molecular detection of Babesia species including but not limited to B. microti, B. duncani and B. divergens in clinical specimens.

Test Category:
Molecular Detection
Babesia spp.
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Babesiosis

Whole blood. Minimum volume of blood required is 2.0 mL.

Collection Method:

Collect blood in EDTA tubes. AVOID HEPARIN.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Store specimens refrigerated up to 5 days and ship with freezer packs.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.

For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.


Patient Criteria:

Appropriate clinical symptoms with potential exposure to blacklegged ticks.Symptoms of infection with Babesia sp. include fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue although many individuals are asymptomatic. Babesiosis can be a severe, life-threatening disease, particularly in the elderly or asplenic or immunocompromised individuals.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Requisition for Molecular Testing for Selected Zoonotic Agents. If possible, include the clinical history and lab results performed at local or provincial laboratories.


Specimens may be subject to rejection if they are not the appropriate sample type, have insufficient volume, or are not accompanied by relevant patient information.


Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Extracted DNA is screened by a real-time PCR assay specific for Babesia species. If positive by real-time PCR, samples are tested by species-specific real-time PCR, conventional PCR and sequencing for confirmation and species determination.

Initiation of antibiotic treatment prior to testing may result in decreased bacterial genome which will affect the outcome of PCR testing.

Turnaround Time:

21 calendar days.

Phone #: (204) 789-7434 or (204) 789-7662
Fax: (204) 789-2082
  1. Nakajima, R., Tsuji, M., Oda, K., et al. 2009. Babesia microti-group parasites compared phylogenetically by complete sequencing of the CCT? gene in 36 isolates. J. Vet. Med. Sci. 71(1): 55-68, 2009.
  2. Persing, D.H., Mathiesen, D., Marshall, W.F., Telford, S.R., Spielman, A., Thomford, J.W., Conrad, P.A. Detection of Babesia microti by polymerase chain reaction. J Clin Microbiol 1992;30:2097-103.
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