Parasites are generally subdivided into three categories: protozoans, or single-celled nucleated organisms; helminths, which are metazoan wormlike organisms; and arthropods such as ticks and insects.
Parasitism can lead to four different host-parasite states:
(1) symbiosis, which is the association of two organisms that cannot exist independently;
(2) mutualism, an association in which both organisms benefit;
(3) commensalism, in which the parasite benefits and the host is unaffected; and
disease, in which the parasite benefits and the host is harmed.
To effectively treat babesial infections there are five points to keep in mind about the parasites.
1. They infect red blood cells.
2. They significantly inhibit nitric oxide production in the body (the body’s main defense against them).
3. They, during all but severe babesial infections, lower inflammation by preventing the inflammatory Th1 response the body would naturally use to counteract them.
4. They infect and distort the endothelial cells that line blood vessels, using them as a niche in which to hide, and they cluster red blood cells around those sites, which causes a number of blood vessel and organ problems from the subsequent coagulation and blockage of the vessels.
5. Studies on the treatment of Babesia infections have found that a 7-10 day treatment approach is, in half of all infections, insufficient; treatment must last 30 days or longer to successfully treat the infection, to prevent recurrence, and to prevent pharmaceutical resistance from developing.