Babesia – Serology

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Babesia serology, or Babesiosis

Blood or serum

5.0 ml blood

1.0 ml serum

Blood, clotted - vacutainer tubes (SST)

Submission and Collection Notes


This test detect antibodies to Babesia. For diagnosis of an infection, thick and thin smears, and EDTA blood for Babesia microscopy is recommended. Refer to the test information sheet for Babesia – Microscopy.


If diagnostic testing is required using serology include all clinical symptoms and date of onset on the General Test Requisition Form.

Timing of Specimen Collection

An acute (collected early after the onset of symptoms) and a convalescent (collected 2-3 weeks later) may be required for laboratory diagnosis.


Grossly haemolysed, lipemic, contaminated specimens, CSF and specimens containing anti-coagulant are unsuitable for testing.

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

Centrifuge if using SST. Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Babesia serology is a Referred Out Test. Samples are sent to the National Reference Centre for Parasitology (NRCP) in Montreal.

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

Test Methods

Babesia serology is performed by Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA).

Mis à jour le 20 juill. 2020