In this newly published review, Emerging Human Babesisosis with “Ground Zero” in North America, authors address the geographic distribution of the human-infecting Babesia spp., their phylogenetic relationship, and their tick vector worldwide. Species reviewed for human infection include, but are not limited to, B. microti, B. divergens, B. venatorum, B. duncani, B. crassa, and two yet unnamed Babesia species needing further investigation.
Authors found that the number of human Babesiosis cases appearing in the literature has increased exponentially in the last 10 years. Babesiosis has been a nationally notifiable disease in the United States (US) since 2011. Though cases of Babesiosis have been reported from all continents except Antarctica, the US leads the world in case numbers of human Babesiosis with more than 20,000 total cases reported since 2006.
The authors state several factors which may have contributed to this rapid increase in human case numbers of Babesiosis including increased awareness of the disease in the medical community, active monitoring and survey studies, global warming, transfusion transmissions and vertical transmission from an infected mother to child.