Analysis of Human Babesiosis and Cardiac Complications

Anne Spichler-Moffarah, et al., published, “Cardiac Complications of Human Babesiosis” in Clinical Infectious Diseases on August 19, 2022. The article explains that many babesiosis patients have mild to moderate expressions of the disease, however, fatal circumstances can result. While cardiac issues are common, the comprehensive range of cardiac disease, as well as the rate of recurrence, risks, and patient outcomes are unknown. Consequently, the researchers performed a review of the records for patients who were admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital from January 2011 to October 2021 with babesiosis and who were experiencing cardiac complications over the past decade.

Diagnosis was confirmed via the detection of Babesia parasites on thin blood smears and/or the use of polymerase chain reaction. The detection of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases was also documented.

The study included 163 enrolled patients, of which 32 (19.6%) had at least one cardiac complication while hospitalized. The most frequent cardiac issues were atrial fibrillation (9.4%), heart failure (8.6%), corrected QT interval prolongation (8.0%), and cardiac ischemia (6.8%).  It was noted that cardiovascular disease risk factors and preexisting cardiac conditions were not considerably associated with the occurrence of cardiac issues. The patient group with cardiac complications had increased incidences of high-grade parasitemia (>10%) (P < .001), lengthier hospital (P < .001) and intensive care unit stays (P < .001), and a greater death rate (P = .02) than the group with no cardiac complications.

Conclusions: complications caused by acute babesiosis are frequent and resulted in roughly one-fifth of this inpatient grouping. Additional studies will be required to uncover the correlation between babesiosis infections and cardiac complications.

For More Information:

Read the study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Learn more about babesiosis.

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