TRANSFUSION MEDICINE AND IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY: Edited by Karina YazdanbakhshHuman babesiosis: recent advances and future challengesLobo, Cheryl A.; Singh, Manpreet; Rodriguez, MarilisAuthor Information Department of Blood-Borne Parasites, Lindsley Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, New York, New York, USA Correspondence to Cheryl A. Lobo, Department of Blood-Borne Parasites, New York Blood Center, New York, NY 10065, USA. Tel: +1 212 570 3415; fax: +1 212 570 3126; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Hematology: November 2020 - Volume 27 - Issue 6 - p 399-405 doi: 10.1097/MOH.0000000000000606 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review As human babesiosis caused by apicomplexan parasites of the Babesia genus is associated with transfusion-transmitted illness and relapsing disease in immunosuppressed populations, it is important to report novel findings relating to parasite biology that may be responsible for such pathology. Blood screening tools recently licensed by the FDA are also described to allow understanding of their impact on keeping the blood supply well tolerated. Recent findings Reports of tick-borne cases within new geographical regions such as the Pacific Northwest of the USA, through Eastern Europe and into China are also on the rise. Novel features of the parasite lifecycle that underlie the basis of parasite persistence have recently been characterized. These merit consideration in deployment of both detection, treatment and mitigation tools such as pathogen inactivation technology. The impact of new blood donor screening tests in reducing transfusion transmitted babesiosis is discussed. Summary New Babesia species have been identified globally, suggesting that the epidemiology of this disease is rapidly changing, making it clear that human babesiosis is a serious public health concern that requires close monitoring and effective intervention measures. Unlike other erythrocytic parasites, Babesia exploits unconventional lifecycle strategies that permit host cycles of different lengths to ensure survival in hostile environments. With the licensure of new blood screening tests, incidence of transfusion transmission babesiosis has decreased. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.