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Course Details

  • NHAND 2023 Conference Speaker
  • 1.5 CE, pharmacy
  • CEs approved by the AANP

Speaker Bio

Alexis Chesney MS, ND, LAc is a naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, author and educator specializing in Lyme and tick-borne disease. Dr. Chesney enjoys getting to the root cause of complex chronic illness and partnering with patients to find wellness and balance in their lives. She practices at Sojourns Community Health Clinic, in Westminster, Vermont and also has a private practice. She is a member of the AANP, Vermont Association of Naturopathic Physicians (VANP), the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) and a founding full member of International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI). Dr. Chesney served on the Board of Directors and is currently the Naturopathic Medicine Committee Chair for the ILADS. She serves as a preceptor for the ILADEF Physician Training Program. She is the author of Preventing Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases released through Storey Publishing, and speaks on tick-borne diseases at conferences and in the media.

Course Description

Babesiosis is an emerging tick-borne disease caused by Babesia in the United States. Transmitted by blacklegged (Ixodes scapularis) ticks, the highest incidence of Babesiosis is seen in the Northeast and Midwest. The largest increase in incidence of Babesiosis in the United States from 2011-2019 occurred in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. It is well-known that cases of Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia bacterium, are also on the rise. Proficiency in the diagnosis and treatment of Babesiosis is essential because it is caused by the parasite Babesia and therefore requires different diagnostics and treatment from that of Lyme disease.

In this presentation, we will review the history and epidemiology of Babesiosis in the United States. We will discuss how to identify the Ixodes scapularis tick, the main vector of Babesia. We will discuss ways in which to prevent tick bites. The signs and symptoms of Babesiosis will be explained. Laboratory testing for the identification of Babesia will be reviewed. Pharmaceutical therapeutics used in the treatment of Babesiosis such as atovaquone and azithromycin will be reviewed along with contraindications, side effects, interactions and required monitoring. Emerging treatments like high dose pulsed dapsone will be described. Natural therapies will be discussed including contraindications, side effects, interactions with pharmaceutical medications and required monitoring. Recent research on botanical medicine such as cryptolepis and its clinical use will be discussed. Clinical pearls regarding critical thinking and decision making as well as the medical management of a patient with Babesiosis will be shared.