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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


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
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Transfusion-transmitted babesiosis in Washington state: First reported case caused by a WA1-type parasite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this