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Severe Babesia microti infection presenting as multiorgan failure in an immunocompetent host
  1. Juan G Ripoll1,
  2. Mahrukh S Rizvi2,
  3. Rebecca L King3,
  4. Craig E Daniels2
  1. 1Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Juan G Ripoll, ripollsanz.juan{at}


A previously healthy 67-year-old farmer presented to an outside hospital after a 2-week history of non-specific respiratory symptoms. A certain diagnosis was not initially apparent, and the patient was discharged home on a regimen for presumed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation. He re-presented to the emergency department with shock and hypoxaemic respiratory failure requiring prompt intubation and fluid resuscitation. He was then transferred to our institution due to multiorgan failure. On arrival, the patient demonstrated refractory shock and worsening acute kidney injury, severe anaemia and thrombocytopaenia. The peripheral smear revealed absence of microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia. A closer review of the smear displayed red blood cell inclusion bodies consistent with babesiosis. The patient was started on clindamycin and loaded with intravenous quinidine, and subsequently transitioned to oral quinine. A red cell exchange transfusion was pursued with improvement of the parasite load. The patient was discharged home on clindamycin/quinine and scheduled for outpatient intermittent haemodialysis.

  • infectious diseases
  • intensive care
  • adult intensive care
  • mechanical ventilation
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  • Contributors JGR and MSR: concept, literature review and drafting of the manuscript. RLK and CED: drafting and critical review of the manuscript. All the authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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