Babesia as a complication of immunosuppression following pig-to-baboon heart transplantation

Academic Article


  • We report a baboon that developed anemia, leukocytosis, fever, and anorexia while immunosuppressed following a pig heart transplant. Blood smears indicated babesia infection of the erythrocytes, and this was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. A 1-week course of treatment with doxycycline successfully eradicated the organism. Babesia, a widespread blood parasite that can infect humans, has been reported to be present in the erythrocytes of approximately a third of baboons housed in facilities in the USA, without overt signs of infection. Immunosuppression can reduce the host's immune system, and result in proliferation of the parasite, leading to hemolysis and other features of infection, sometimes with fatal outcome. © 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ezzelarab M; Yeh P; Wagner R; Cooper DKC
  • Start Page

  • 162
  • End Page

  • 165
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 2