November 21, 1986

Transfusion-Acquired Babesiosis and Failure of Antibiotic Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine (Dr Evans), Dartmouth Medical School (Drs Smith and Mills), Hanover, NH; the American Red Cross, Boston (Dr Popovsky); and the Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (Dr Spielman).

JAMA. 1986;256(19):2726-2727. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380190096034

HUMAN babesiosis is a zoonosis characterized by fever, malaise, and hemolytic anemia. In the United States, the disease is generally caused by the species Babesia microti, a protozoan parasite of rodents, and is transmitted by Ixodes dammini, the northern deer tick.1 Most of the 200 known cases of human babesiosis in the United States followed exposure to I dammini on the coastal islands of the Northeast, particularly Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, and Shelter Island, New York. Asymptomatic infections occur frequently2 and create potential for transmission of infection through blood donation.3-6 Recently the range of I dammini, which is also the principal vector of Lyme disease, has increased dramatically, with a resulting increase in the incidence of human babesiosis and Lyme disease.7

Herein we report the first case of babesiosis acquired in New Hampshire and cite evidence indicating that the infection was transfusion acquired. This case also documents