Autoimmune hemolytic anemia associated with babesiosis
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA), a very infrequent condition which represents a group of disorders in which presence of autoantibodies directed against self-antigens leads to shortened red cell survival. Till date, a very few cases of AIHA in Malaria patients are reported worldwide but still AIHA should be considered a relatively rare cause of anemia in malaria. A 20 year male presented with intermittent fever since seven days and yellowish discoloration of urine and sclera since 5 days. He was transfused three units of blood at a private clinic before one month. On examination, pallor, icterus and spelnomegaly were present. Hemoglobin (Hb) was 3.2 gm% and peripheral smear revealed ring forms of both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum. Serum LDH and Serum billirubin (Indirect and Direct) were high. This patient's blood group was B +ve with positive autocontrol. Indirect Antiglobulin Test (IAT), antibody screening and antibody identification were pan-positive with reaction strength of +4 against each cell. Direct Antiglobulin Test was +4 positive anti IgG and negative with anti C3. He was treated with Artesunate and methylprednisone. Least incompatible, saline washed O Neg and B neg red cells were transfused on the 2(nd) day of starting treatment. Hb was raised to 6.1 gm% on 4(th) day. Patient was discharged on 9th day with Hb 7.0 gm% with oral tapering dose of steroids. In the above case, patient was suffering from high grade malarial parasitemia with co-existing autoimmune RBC destruction by IgG auto-antibodies which led to sudden drop in Hb and rise in serum LDH and indirect billirubin. Least incompatible packed red cells along with antimalarials and steroids led to clinical improvement. So far, one case report each from India, Korea, Canada and Germany and one case series report of three cases from India have been reported. Under-reporting or rarity of this phenomenon may be accountable for this.