Babesiosis is caused by hemoprotozoan parasites of the genus Babesia. The parasite attacks the red blood cells, causing their destruction and resulting in hemolytic anemia. Individuals with babesiosis often have enlarged livers and spleens. On the East Coast and in the Midwestern states, the disease is transmitted by the bite of infected deer ticks with the Babesia parasite. The deer tick lives on deer, meadow voles, and small rodents such as deer mice. Deer ticks also transmit Lyme disease and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis in Indiana. Co-infections of Lyme disease and Babesia have been identified in the New England states.
The first case of babesiosis in Indiana was reported in 2004. This case was bitten by a tick while visiting Kansas.
You can learn more about babesiosis by visiting the following Web site: