The risk of acquiring Lyme disease or babesiosis from a blood transfusion

M A Gerber, E D Shapiro, P J Krause, R G Cable, S J Badon, R W Ryan
Journal of Infectious Diseases 1994, 170 (1): 231-4
To determine the risk of acquiring Lyme disease or babesiosis from blood transfusion, serum was collected before and 6 weeks after patients received multiple transfusions during cardiothoracic surgery and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti were measured. Of 155 subjects, 149 received 601 total units of packed red blood cells (PRBC) and 48 received 371 total units of platelets. No patient developed clinical or serologic evidence of Lyme disease; 1 (who received 5 units of PRBC) developed clinical and serologic evidence of babesiosis. The risk of acquiring Lyme disease from a transfused unit of PRBC was 0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0-0.5%) and from a transfused unit of platelets was 0 (95% CI, 0-0.8%); the same risks for babesiosis were 0.17% (95% CI, 0.004%-0.9%) and 0 (95% CI, 0-0.8%), respectively. The risk of acquiring either Lyme disease or babesiosis from a blood transfusion in Connecticut is very low.

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