Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi by Blood transfusion?
While babesia has been transferred via bloodtransfusion in several cases, there has not been any verified case of borreliosis transferred via blood transfusion, but there is a potential risk as the spirochete may remain viable and infectious during the normal bank blood storage period.
of Borrelia burgdorferi in blood products.
Transfusion 1989 Sep; 29(7): 581-3 PMID: 2773025
The incidence of Lyme disease is rapidly increasing in the
of Erythema migrans Borreliosis in blood
Schmidt R, Gollmer E, Zunser R, Kruger J, Ackermann R.
Infusionstherapie 1989 Dec; 16(6): 248-51 PMID: 2625363
European Erythema migrans Borreliosis and North American Lyme disease are closely related to syphilis. This implicates a potential risk of infection for blood recipients. Eighty-six of 3,157 blood donors tested showed IgG-antibodies against Borrelia Burgdorferi. From among 47 persons of this group who could be examined, clinical signs of diseased skin, joints or nervous system, not diagnosed before, were found or could be suspected in 13 cases. Since intrauterine transmission of Borrelia infection has been described, the inevitable question of whether this disease can also be transmitted as a result of blood transfusion becomes a major concern. As the pathogen can persist even in the presence of serum antibodies, it seems advisable to examine blood donors serologically, whenever Erythema migrans Borreliosis is suspected. Though further research is required to document a transfusion-transmitted Borrelia infection, infected persons should be treated to avoid serious or late manifestations.
of Borrelia burgdorferi in human blood stored
under blood banking conditions.
Nadelman RB, Sherer C, Mack L,
Transfusion 1990 May; 30(4): 298-301 PMID: 2349627
Hematogenous dissemination of organisms occurs in many spirochetal diseases, including Lyme disease and syphilis. Although syphilis has been transmitted by transfusion, in the vast majority of cases, only fresh blood products were involved, in part because Treponema pallidum survives poorly when refrigerated in citrated blood. Because of the rising incidence of Lyme disease in certain areas, whether its causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, could survive under blood banking conditions was studied. Dilutions of stock cultures of two strains of B. burgdorferi were inoculated into samples of citrated red cells (RBCs). Viable spirochetes were recovered from RBCs inoculated with 10(6) organisms per mL, after refrigeration for as long as 6 weeks. It is concluded that B. burgdorferi may survive storage under blood banking conditions and that transfusion-related Lyme disease is theoretically possible.
burgdorferi: survival in experimentally infected human blood
processed for transfusion.
Johnson SE, Swaminathan B,
J Infect Dis 1990 Aug; 162(2): 557-9 PMID: 2373880
The isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi from blood raises the possibility of bloodborne transmission of Lyme borreliosis through transfusions. To assess this possibility, the ability of B. burgdorferi to survive in human blood processed for transfusion was studied. Human blood was inoculated with B. burgdorferi type strain B-31 (ATCC 35210) at 0.2, 20, or 2000 viable cells/ml, processed by conventional blood banking procedures, stored at 4 degrees C, and cultured for B. burgdorferi at 12, 23, 36, and 48 days of storage. After processing, most B. burgdorferi were found in the packed cell fraction. At inoculum levels of 20 or 2000 viable cells/ml, B. burgdorferi survived in processed blood through 48 days of storage at 4 degrees C. B. burgdorferi was isolated from packed cells after 36 days of storage at 4 degrees C even when the initial inoculum level was as low as 0.2 cells/ml. The data demonstrate that B. burgdorferi can survive the blood processing procedures normally applied to transfused blood in the
study of a borreliosis infected
Weiland T, Kuhnl P, Darda C, Sibrowski W, Pulz M.
Beitr Infusionsther 1991; 28: 32-4 PMID: 1725647
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, and represents a potential transfusion hazard. Some Borrelia burgdorferi-infected blood donors may not be disqualified by standard donor selection procedures, thus possibly transmitting the disease. In a follow-up of 14 recipients of blood products donated by such a donor, no clinical signs or serologic evidence of a transfusion-transmitted borreliosis could be demonstrated.
of blood donors and recipients for Borrelia
burgdorferi antibodies: no evidence of B. burgdorferi infection
Bohme M, Schwenecke S, Fuchs E, Wiebecke D, Karch H.
Infusionsther Transfusionsmed 1992 Aug; 19(4): 204-7 PMID: 1422081
In the study presented here, the prevalence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme borreliosis, was determined in a group of blood donors from the Wurzburg area (Southern Germany). 13 of 472 donors (2.7%) tested were positive by immunoblotting (IB). These 13 donors were examined in more detail by physical examination, anamnesis and determination of inflammation parameters of the blood. All persons were asymptomatic for Lyme borreliosis. One of 5 who remembered a tick bite actually had suffered from an erythema chronicum migrans 5 years ago. Another one had been affected by fever, headaches and pain in the limbs, arthralgia and motoric disorder in both hands 6 months before examination. Analysis of the blood did not provide any evidence of an acute infection. Moreover, each of the 472 serum samples was analyzed by a hemagglutination test (HAT). 26 (5.5%) showed a positive test result. In order to investigate whether a seroconversion of the recipients by transfusion of B. burgdorferi antibody-positive blood had taken place, 9 recipients of blood products originating from the 13 IB-positive donors were serologically reexamined. All samples taken proved to be antibody-negative. Consequently, the transfusion did not produce any seroconversion in the patients thus treated.
of Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies in
Weiland T, Kuhnl P, Laufs R, Heesemann J.
Beitr Infusionsther 1992; 30: 92-5 PMID: 1284777
One thousand regular blood donors of the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the
with Borrelia burgdorferi in
Bohme M, Schembra J, Bocklage H, Schwenecke S, Fuchs E, Karch H, Wiebecke D.
Beitr Infusionsther 1992; 30: 96-9 PMID: 1284778
The prevalence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme borreliosis, was determined in a group of blood donors from the Wurzburg area (Southern Germany). 26 of 472 donors (5.5%) tested positive in a hemagglutination test. When performing immunoblots only 13 donors (2.7%) gave rise to B. burgdorferi-specific antibodies. 9 of them were examined in more detail by anamnesis, physical examination, determination of inflammation parameters of the blood and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of urine. All persons were asymptomatic for Lyme borreliosis. One of 4, who remembered a tick bite, actually had suffered from an erythema migrans 5 years ago. Another one had been affected by fever, headaches and pains in the limbs, arthralgia and motoric disorder in both hands 6 months before examination. Analysis of the blood did not provide any evidence of an acute infection. In the urine of 2 donors we detected B. burgdorferi-specific DNA by PCR. No seroconversion due to blood transfusion could be observed, when 9 recipients of blood products provided by the 13 seropositive donors were serologically reexamined. PCR analysis of urine samples of 5 recipients was also negative.
Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. infection via blood transfusion in a murine
Gabitzsch ES, Piesman J, Dolan MC, Sykes CM, Zeidner NS.
J Parasitol. 2006 Aug;92(4):869-70. PMID: 16995409
Without antibiotic treatment, the Lyme-disease-causing bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi can be cultured from the peripheral blood of human patients nearly 6 wk post-tick bite. To determine if Lyme disease spirochetes can be transmitted from a spirochetemic donor mouse to a naive recipient during blood transfusion, blood taken from immunocompetent infected mice was transfused into either immunodeficient (SCID) mice, inbred immunocompetent animals (C3H/HeJ), or outbred mice. Nine of 19 (47.7%) immunodeficient mice, 7 of 15 (46.8%) inbred immunocompetent mice, and 6 of 10 (60.0%) outbred mice became infected with B. burgdorferi after transfusion. Our results indicate that it is possible to acquire B. burgdoferi infection via transfused blood in a mouse model of Lyme borreliosis.