Babesia microti

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Record number: 
Adverse Occurrence type: 
MPHO Type: 
Estimated frequency: 
Estimates suggest that there have been at least 70 cases of transfusion-transmitted B. microti in the USA during the period from 1979 through 2008, with 12 associated fatalities.
Time to detection: 
The reported incubation period for transfusion-transmitted babesiosis is 1-9 weeks.
Alerting signals, symptoms, evidence of occurrence: 
Reported cases have involved blood recipients who ranged in age from neonates to 79 years of age, most of whom were immunocompromised, often multiply transfused,and some were asplenic. Most cases involved red cell units but transfusion of platelets has also been implicated in transmission, most likely due to presence of Babesia-infected red cells. Flu-like symptoms appear 1 to 4 weeks post infection, usually resolving within a few weeks. More serious disease complications can occur in immunocompromised patients, particularly the elderly, including haemolytic anemia, thrombocytopaenia,and renal failure. Asplenic persons can develop extremely high, life-threatening parasitemia.
Demonstration of imputability or root cause: 
Imputability grade: 
3 Definite/Certain/Proven
Suggest new keywords: 
haemolytic anaemia
renal failure
Suggest references: 
Johnson, S.T., Cable, R.G., Tonnetti, L. Spencer, B., Rios, J. and Leiby, D.A. (2009). Seroprevalence of Babesia microti in blood donors from Babesia-endemic areas of the northeastern United States: 2000 through 2007. Transfusion 49(12): 2574-82. Leiby, D.A. and Gill, J.E. (2004). Transfusion-transmitted tick-borne infections: a cornucopia of threats. Transfus Med Rev 18(4): 293-306.
Add Babesia to the adverse occurrence taxonomy: Harm to a recipient/Infection/Parasitic/Babesia (Evi)