Transfusion-transmitted babesiosis in Washington state: First reported case caused by a WA1-type parasite

Barbara L. Herwaldt, Anne M. Kjemtrup, Patricia A. Conrad, Robert C. Barnes, Marianna Wilson, Maureen G. McCarthy, Merlyn H. Sayers, Mark L. Eberhard

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Abstract

Most cases of babesiosis reported in the United States have been tickborne and caused by Babesia microti, the etiologic agent of all previously described transfusion-transmitted cases. A 76-year-old man with the first recognized case of transfusion-transmitted infection with the recently identified WA1-type Babesia parasite is described. The subject received multiple blood transfusions in 1994. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing of serum from 57 blood donors implicated a 34-year-old man (WA1 titer, 1:65,536) whose donation had been used for packed red cells. Isolates of the organisms that infected the recipient and the donor, both of whom were spleen-intact residents of Washington State, were obtained by hamster inoculation. The DNA sequence of a 536-bp region of the nuclear small subunit-rRNA gene of both isolates was identical to that of WA1 (isolated in 1991 from the index WA1 case-patient). Effective measures for preventing transmission of babesiosis by blood transfusion are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1262
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume175
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology

Cite this

Herwaldt, B. L., Kjemtrup, A. M., Conrad, P. A., Barnes, R. C., Wilson, M., McCarthy, M. G., Sayers, M. H., & Eberhard, M. L. (1997). Transfusion-transmitted babesiosis in Washington state: First reported case caused by a WA1-type parasite. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 175(5), 1259-1262.