About Babesia microti:
Babesia microti is a zoonotic intraerythrocytic parasite, most often transmitted by blood-borne deer ticks. After transmission into humans, this protein can cause the disease babesiosis, which is similar to malaria. In that, it causes fever-like symptoms and hemolysis, a rupture of red blood cells within the body. Yet unlike malaria, it does not affect liver cells.
Since there have been more than 1,700 cases in the US alone. Thus, in 2018 the FDA worked on approving antibody screening test for blood and organ donors who contracted the tick induced disease. Yet, a vaccine to protect humans is yet to be approved.
Babesia microti Structure
The likeness comparison to malaria is due to its structure under a microscopic lens. More than 100 babesia species can infect animals, yet only a handful can severely affect humans in the same way the strain babesia microti can. Compared to its other species, babesia microti is very distinct due to its structure. Under the microscope, babesia microti’s lifecycle shows red blood cells as a cross-like shape, which is a close comparison to the structure of malaria.