What causes transfusion-transmitted babesiosis?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Babesia microti is an intraerythrocytic protozoan parasite that produces a malarialike illness and is the principal cause of human babesiosis in the United States. The majority of the cases have been reported from the Northeast. The common mode of transmission is via an Ixodes tick bite, but B microti can also be acquired via the transfusion of infected blood. In a study by Herwaldt et al, which included data from over 31 years, most transfusion-related cases were associated with red blood cell components. [69] The cases occurred in all 4 seasons. Babesiosis should be suspected, particularly in cases of posttransfusion hemolytic anemia.


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