Babesia – Microscopy and PCR

Conformément au Règlement de l’Ontario 671/92 de la Loi sur les services en français, les renseignements d’analyses de laboratoire liés à la présente page ne sont offerts qu’en anglais parce qu’ils sont de nature scientifique ou technique et destinés uniquement à l’usage des fournisseurs de soins de santé qualifiés et non aux membres du public.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit


Unstained blood slides4


Slide mailer for unstained slides


EDTA blood

1.0 ml

EDTA blood tube

Babesia PCR

EDTA blood

1.0 ml

EDTA blood tube

Submission and Collection Notes


Please note on the requisition (under other) if the patient has fever, intravascular hemolysis, hemoglobinuria, renal failure or is immunocompromised.


Indicate Country/Region and if the patient is a new immigrant or refugee or returned traveler under ‘Travel’ section of the requisition. Travel to Babesia-endemic areas (Northeast United States) should be noted.


Indicate exposure to blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis or deer tick bites on the requisition or Malaria-like parasitic disease if applicable.


Submit unstained thick and thin slides AND EDTA blood.

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Place slide mailer in a biohazard bag and seal. Ship to the PHO laboratory as soon as possible.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Babesia testing is performed Monday to Friday.

Turnaround time is up to 2 days after receipt by PHO laboratory.

Babesia PCR is a Referred Out Test. Samples are sent to National Medical Lab (NML) in Winnipeg.

Turnaround time is up to 42 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.

Test Methods

Thick and thin slides prepared from EDTA blood samples are stained with Giemsa and examined by microscopy.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Mis à jour le 20 juill. 2020