BABESIA BIGEMINA INFECTION AMONG HUMAN IN CONTACT WITH CATTLE IN MENOUFIYA GOVERNORATE
Nashaat E. Nassef*, Mahmoud A. El-Seify**, Mohammed M. Abd El-Ghaffar*, Mona M. El-Sobky* and Engy V. Beshay*
Departments of Parasitology, *Faculty of Medicine, Menoufiya University and **Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafr El Sheikh, Tanta University
Babesiosis is a disease produced by protozoan parasites of genus Babesia which naturally infect mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians through tick bites. In the present study Babesia (B) bigemina was investigated in different locations in Menoufiya Governorate among 150 subjects which were divided into two groups, symptomatic group (82 individuals) randomly selected from attendants of University Hospital and Oncology Institute, Menoufiya University who gave history of contact with cattle and asymptomatic group (68 individuals) with history of close contact with cattle for more than one year. The symptomatic group was divided into 4 subgroups ( splenectomized, cancer, uraemic and immunocompetent feverish patients) while the asymptomatic group was divided into two subgroups (farmers and veterinary workers). Also, 160 cattle in related cattle farms were examined for B. bigemina infection. Thin blood films and indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) were used for detection of the infection in addition to electron microscopic examination of the isolated parasite. Human B. bigemina infection in the present study was 4% (6 cases out of 150). The highest percentage (4.8%) of infection was found among farmers followed by immunocompetent feverish patients (4.5%), cancer patients (4.3%), uraemic patients (4%), and veterinary workers (3.8%) but no infection was detected in slpenectomized patients. In animals, B. bigemina infection was 5.6% (9 animals out of 160). Also, the study showed that thin blood film is a good method for detecting acute infection and IFAT in high titers using Babesia antigen prepared from the isolated parasites from cattle is a specific screening and diagnostic test for human babesiosis.