FDA looks at Babesia blood donor screening | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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Currently, Babesia microti is the highest-ranking pathogen that is transmitted by blood transfusion in the U.S. for which no donor screening is available, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Blood donation Image/ Waldszenen at the wikipedia project

Blood donation
Image/ Waldszenen at the wikipedia project

This has prompted the agency to look into screening blood donors for the parasitic disease. They are turning to the Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC) to look at testing from several different angles–Should antibody testing be nationally based when licensed tests are available? Maybe only in endemic areas of the country like the Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and upper Midwestern states? Should NAT testing be performed year-round?

The FDA is seeking advise with these questions and others concerning Babesia and blood product risk.

Data from the national babesiosis surveillance program and annually reported transfusion-transmitted babesiosis (TTB) cases show that the TTB-risk to U.S. blood supply is increasing making it a high priority for all applicable agencies.

Instituting NAT testing in the top five highly endemic states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey) year-round in addition to antibody testing in all states plus DC is estimated to reduce TTB risk by 95%, in the best case scenario, when compared to the current no testing scenario.

Babesiosis, transmitted by a tick-vector, is caused by infections of humans with intraerythrocytic protozoa of the genus Babesia. Babesiosis can also be transmitted by transfusion of blood and blood products collected from an infected donor.

Babesiosis is characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations that depend on the host age, and its immunological and health status. In children and young healthy adults, B. microti infection leads to asymptomatic or mild disease. However, disease may be severe and even fatal in neonates, the elderly and the immuno-compromised, including cancer patients, with fatality rates of 5-20% reported.


  1. Chris says:

    What about other species? As they won’t show up if you test microti

  2. Melody E says:

    When I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I had just donated blood the week before. I called the clinic and they said not to worry the blood was treated. I laughed so hard the person on the other end almost took offense. I thought if only it was that easy. I suggested they do some research and call me back. That was 1.5 years ago, still no word.

  3. Penny says:

    Pennsylvania should also be included in this testing. I was never medically diagnosed by way of the testing they use but a homeopathic and muscle tester both confirmed that I have had Lyme for years. With all my ailments, and cost for the meds, I really need for the FDA, CDC and insurance companies to get this resolved. I’m broke, in more than one way.

  4. DiveGirl Deb says:

    There are 17 species of Babesia. Why are they only testing for one?

    Babesia Duncani is the West Coast Version. I have it like my mother who gave it to me. Never, ever forget the PNW, we do have Lyme & Babesia here!

    Plus, if you have Babesia, you have Lyme Disease. No patients have just Babesia. It’s past time for our blood banks to wake up and realize, they are causing harm to patients by transmitting these pathogens to innocent folks!

    I’m not alright with that. Our medical system is pledged to ‘do no harm’. Well, this is harm as well as the later FAILURE TO TREAT policies which will greet this new patient pool!

  5. This is a world wide epidemic and our blood supply is contaminated with many tick borne pathogens. One man in FL nearly killed people with his blood and he had Rickettsia ewingii. It is high time that our governments deal with this. We need better testing, and efficacious medications. The pathogens are taking down our immune system and we are immune compromised getting the opportunistic infections we see in those with AIDS, transplant patients and NON HIV ASIANS.

  6. Louise Stothard says:

    Every person who has or had any tick
    born disease, because they are never
    completely cured, should
    NEVER donate blood for anyone, anywhere! PERIOD ! All that is being
    accomplished is passing whichever
    disease you have onto someone else
    with your blood! Yes, there should
    be a sign saying this posted, but
    never have I seen one…. But
    I would hope anyone who is aware they have any parasite, tick born
    is smart enough to know, if it’s in
    their blood, they are passing it on to
    someone else !!

    • No organ donation to be used in a live person either. I asked my LLMD about this & they concurred to remove this from my DL. I believe in helping others but the people who need parts do not need tick-borne disease infected ones.

    • I hope their is a cure, I am putting all my eggs in one basket hopng the bee treatment I’ve began will cure me. Many have already have had wonderful responses with it. I was told 2 yrs have a normal life again. Oh how that sounds so amazing, hoping and praying I do respond, this is my last hope.

  7. arthurmedicineeagle says:

    I was told no body organ donating and no giving blood. RMSF took the good blood and glands and ruined them.

  8. shaorn says:

    So well well and this shit is in our head . It is a sad day when patients sick with this disease get abused for teaching the truth . It is really sad when you come out with an article about this and never listened to the people who knew the science and it is really sad that sick people had to spread the truth about something you would never admit. We took abuse from family and friends while you denied the truth. Tell the real facts about what it turns into long term and how it kills . The time for real treatment is now . NO ONE who has lyme should have unprotected sex you will give it to your unborn you will transmit it and now you come out years later after you poisoned most where is the lawsuit here. This is not what you didn’t know it is what you knew and didn’t do. You are all sick individuals who made our country infected with this . More people have this and you pass it off as other diseases to profit. sick country all of you should be tested to. Tell me something the red cross states they test the blood before donating is that to another lie or is this yet another money scamming scheme on all of you .

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