Public Health England have announced the diagnosis of a case of human babesiosis and a probable case of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in England.
But Babesia has been known to be prevalent in animals for years - in cattle the illness is known as redwater disease.
Three studies in 2017 found it is prevalent in animals and ticks. It is shocking that human medicine is only now catching up. However, the Scottish Lyme Disease and Tick-borne Infections Reference Laboratory has no ISO accredited test for Babesia.
1. "Babesia ventatorum ... was detected in 9% of healthy sheep. Babesia divergens was found in 11% of wild red deer ... Additionally a Babesia odocoilei-like parasite was found in 15% of wild red deer".
2. Babesia was found in 59.6% of blood samples from Scottish badgers.
3. A number of co-infections were found in UK ticks, including Babesia venatorum, Babesia vulpes sp. nov., Babesia divergens/Babesia capreoli, Babesia microti, and Babesia canis.
Read our position paper for details of other co-infections that are prevalent in Scotland.