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A confirmed case of human babesiosis was identified in August 1983 in a 54-year-old asplenic Wisconsin resident. Babesia microti was identified as the causative agent by blood smear morphology and hamster inoculation techniques. The patient’s wife had clinically confirmed
Lyme disease in 1981 and had serologic evidence (immunofluorescent antibody to a B microti titer of 1:1,024) of recent Babesia infection in August 1983. Mice (Peromyscus species) trapped on the patients’ property and elsewhere in their Wisconsin county of residence were infected with B microti.
Lyme disease and babesiosis have the same tick vector and animal reservoir; serum samples from 116 Wisconsin and Minnesota residents with clinically confirmed
Lyme disease between 1980 and 1983 were tested, and none were found to have concurrent Babesia infection. This area of Wisconsin is identified as a new focus for babesiosis transmission, but the risk of transmission seems to be low.