Transfusion-transmitted babesiosis leading to severe hemolysis in two patients with sickle cell anemia

Karkoska K, Louie J, Appiah-Kubi AO, Wolfe L, Rubin L, Rajan S, Aygun B.

Pediatric Blood & Cancer, online first, 2017 Aug 2.


The intracellular parasites Babesia microti and Babesia duncani can be transmitted by blood transfusion and cause severe life-threatening hemolytic anemia in high-risk patients, including those with sickle cell disease.

The rarity of the diagnosis, as well as its similar clinical presentation to delayed hemolytic transfusion reaction, may lead to a delay in diagnosis, as well as inappropriate treatment with steroids or other immunosuppressive agents.

The morbidity caused by this disease in especially vulnerable populations justifies the need for a universal blood-screening program in endemic areas.

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