Babesiosis causes false-positive HIV take a look at outcomes

Babesiosis causes false-positive HIV take a look at outcomes

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It’s believed that Babesia might trigger false-positive HIV take a look at outcomes, presumably resulting from Babesia and HIV serologies cross-reacting, in response to a brand new research, “Acute Babesiosis Inflicting a False-Optimistic HIV Outcome: An Surprising Affiliation,” by He and colleagues.


Investigators describe the case of a affected person with acute babesiosis who previous to remedy examined constructive for HIV.

The 60-year-old man was admitted to the emergency division with intermittent fever, fatigue, anorexia, and worsening jaundice for 3 weeks. He was referred by his major care physician resulting from irregular laboratory values and parasites within the blood.

A blood smear confirmed Babesia microti with 1-2% contaminated pink blood cells. “Given the affected person’s extreme presentation however comparatively low proportion of contaminated pink blood cells, HIV testing was accomplished,” the authors write.

The fourth-generation HIV 1/2 antigen/antibody take a look at was initially constructive however after remedy, HIV testing was damaging.

“Our case report provides to the small quantity of literature exhibiting that false-positive HIV testing in sufferers with babesiosis is feasible.”

The affected person was handled for Babesia with atovaquone and azithromycin and doxycycline to cowl different potential tick-borne illnesses.

“An change transfusion was carried out as a result of affected person’s extreme presentation,” in response to the authors.

The affected person’s signs resolved following remedy. And repeat testing for HIV was damaging.

“False-positive fourth-generation HIV checks are uncommon,” the authors level out. Nevertheless, a number of case experiences “have described false-positive HIV checks related to acute babesiosis.”

The authors conclude:

  • “Whereas the explanations for false-positive HIV checks in acute babesiosis stay unclear, physicians who see sufferers with a constructive HIV take a look at within the setting of acute babesiosis ought to pursue additional workup.”


  1. He JZ, Rezwan M, Arif A, Baroud S, Elhaj M, Khan A. Acute Babesiosis Inflicting a False-Optimistic HIV Outcome: An Surprising Affiliation. Case Rep Infect Dis. 2023 Jul 24;2023:6271710. doi: 10.1155/2023/6271710. PMID: 37528903; PMCID: PMC10390267.

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