Babesiosis has been increasing. Up to 19 percent of ticks that carry the Lyme disease bacteria also carry the babesiosis parasite. The same is true of up to 42 percent of mice and other rodents.
Although treatment for Babesia is much more straightforward than for Lyme disease (usually a 4 month course of Mepron completely eradicates the disease), a combination of both Lyme disease and Babesia is notoriously complicated to treat.
However, apparently babesiosis (which is a parasite that attacks red blood cells) can mutate and become resistant to treatment.
Recently (June 6, 2016) The Journal of Experimental Medicine published a new study online that shows a combination of drugs are more effective treating Babesia – at least in mice.
Treating a parasite like Babesia is slightly different than treating a bacterial infection. Rather than an antibiotic which halts bacteria replication and destroys cell structure, treatment for Babesia targets enzymes.
According to Outbreak News Today, “…the researchers found that the combination of atovaquone and ELQ-334, at low doses, cleared the infection and prevented recurrence up to 122 days after treatment.”
“This is the first radical cure against this parasite,” said Choukri Ben Mamoun, associate professor of infectious diseases. “The novelty of the study was identifying a combination therapy that will both kill the parasite and also paralyze the target enzyme, making it nearly impossible for the parasite to develop resistance.”
This is a big first step in finding a reliable treatment to this growing disease.