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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 and Genotyping
Babesia spp.
Illnesses and Diseases:

Whole blood.  Minimum required volume is 2.0 mL.

Collection Method:

Collect blood in EDTA tubes. Avoid heparin. Do not centrifuge.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Store specimens refrigerated up to 5days and ship with freezer packs. If > 5 days, store at – 20 °C and ship on dry ice.

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.

Patient Criteria:

Appropriate clinical symptoms with potential exposure to Ixodes spp. 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) 789-6068
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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