Transfusion-Transmitted Babesiosis Via Red Cell Exchange in Sickle Cell Disease Patient

Transfusion-Transmitted BabesiosisVictoria Costa, et al., published the case report “Transfusion-transmitted babesiosis in a patient with sickle cell disease undergoing chronic red cell exchange” in Transfusion, January 13, 2023. The report describes a 30-year-old man with sickle cell disease (SCD) who presented with fever, neck pain, and photophobia roughly two months after receiving red cell exchange (RCE), a regimen he had been receiving since childhood.

The patient resided in a Babesia endemic state but had no risk factors for tick exposure. In the preceding six months, 58 of the 65 units the patient received had been screened for Babesia. One of the seven donors from the untested units was B. microti seropositive, asymptomatic, and lived in a state in which Babesia testing is not mandatory. The donor had traveled within the year prior to his donation.

The researchers noted that transfusion-transmitted babesiosis (TTB) is rare but possible regardless of regional screening, and this case emphasizes the need for provider awareness and education, particularly in non-endemic areas.

For more information:

Read the case report in Transfusion.

Read more about Babesia.