Babesia in the Blood Supply: Tickborne Parasite Transmitted via Transfusion

Image of an Ixodes scapularis tick on a fingertip. Credit: Graham Hickling, University of Tennessee.

Image of an Ixodes scapularis tick on a fingertip. Credit: Graham Hickling, University of Tennessee.

In an article published in 2011 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, CDC and collaborators described 159 transfusion-associated Babesia microti cases that occurred during 1979–2009, most (77%) from 2000 to 2009. No Babesia test licensed by the Food and Drug Administration is available for screening prospective blood donors, who can feel fine despite being infected.

Page last reviewed: June 7, 2018