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The success of organ-replacement therapies has resulted in a population of chronically immunosuppressed but active people who experience increased vulnerability to tick-borne zoonoses. Several of these infections may be life threatening. Human babesiosis is an emerging zoonosis that is transmitted by the same tick that transmits
Lyme disease and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.
We briefly review these zoonoses and present a case of a renal transplant recipient who survived infection by Babesia microti contracted through blood transfusion.
A recipient of a living-related renal transplant developed acute postoperative hemolytic anemia. The etiology of this anemia was diagnosed by peripheral red blood cell smear as Babesia microti. The patient was managed by a reduction in transplant immunosuppressive therapy and administration of clindamycin and quinine antimicrobials.
Transplant patients may contract babesiosis after tick exposure and/or via blood transfusion. The diagnosis of babesiosis may be confused with malaria and should be included in the differential diagnosis of posttransplant hemolytic-uremic syndrome in organ transplant patients.