Severe Babesiosis Masquerading as Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: A Case Report

Cureus. 2019 Apr 15;11(4):e4459. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4459.


Babesiosis is an infectious disease caused by protozoa of the genus Babesia. Its incidence has been increasing in the Northeast and upper Midwest regions of the United States in recent years. Symptoms of babesiosis can range from a mild flu-like illness to acute, severe, and fatal disease. Severe disease is common in older populations and immunocompromised patients. The laboratory abnormalities associated with babesiosis, such as low hematocrit, low hemoglobin, elevated lactate dehydrogenase, low haptoglobin, reticulocytosis, the presence of schistocytes on the peripheral blood smear and thrombocytopenia, can mimic other severe systemic disorders like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Hence, it is crucial to be aware of babesiosis, especially in highly endemic areas as it can masquerade as severe fatal systemic diseases like TTP.

Keywords: babesiosis; microangiopathic hemolytic anemia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports