Cite this page: Pham H. Babesiosis and transfusions. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/transfusionmedbabesiosis.html. Accessed July 13th, 2020.
Definition / general
- Babesiosis is caused by Bebesia microti in North America (transmitted by tick bite, Medscape: Babesiosis [Accessed 26 October 2017])
- Parasite survives within refrigerated red cells (Transfus Med Rev 2002;16:131, Am Fam Physician 2001;63:1969)
- Most frequently reported tick borne pathogen transmitted by blood transmission in the US (Transfus Med Rev 2002;16:131)
- More than 50 cases of transfusion transmitted babesiosis reported in U.S.
- In Connecticut, estimated risk up to 1 in 1000; PCR revealed about 1 in 1,800 donors in Connecticut are parasitemic
- Transfusion transmitted babesiosis symptoms: fever developing 1 - 4 weeks after transfusion; also headache, hemolysis; rarely renal failure and coagulopathy; often no / mild symptoms
- High risk patients include immunocompromised, elderly, and asplenic patients (Transfusion 2000;40:285)
- Donor selection strategy: don't collect blood in areas where disease vectors are endemic in spring and summer months
- NAT or serologic testing can be done in future
- Asymptomatic donor with multiple recipients (Transfusion 2002;42:1154, JAMA 1999;281:927)
- WA1 type Babesia transmission (Transfusion 2002;42:1482, J Infect Dis 1997;175:1259)
- After heart transplant (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Transfusion-Associated Babesiosis after Heart Transplant [Accessed 26 October 2017])
- Cases in Canada (CMAJ 2001;164:1721) and Japan (J Clin Microbiol 2000;38:4511)