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Evan Martin Bloch, M.B.Ch.B., M.D., M.S.

Photo of Dr. Evan Martin Bloch, M.B.Ch.B., M.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor of Pathology

Male

Languages: English, Afrikaans, Spanish

Expertise: Pathology

Research Interests: Neglected Infectious diseases; transfusion transmitted infectious; Babesia; Zika

Background

Dr. Bloch is originally from South Africa where he completed his medical school (University of Cape Town) and clinical training, which first spurred an interest in infectious disease. Following completion of a combined residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (Tufts Medical Center), post-graduate fellowship in Transfusion Medicine (University of California San Francisco [UCSF]) and Masters in Global Health (UCSF) he continued research at Blood Systems Research Institute, while continuing to teach at UCSF in Laboratory Medicine and Global Health Sciences. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Pathology in 2015.

Dr. Bloch's major research focus is neglected and emerging infectious diseases, particularly in the context of blood transfusion safety. As one example, Dr Bloch has long been interested in babesiosis.  Babesiosis is a tick-borne parasitic infection that is endemic to parts of the United States. Although infection is characterized by mild illness in immune competent adults, Babesia poses significant risk to those patients at extremes of age, the immunocompromised and the asplenic. These high-risk groups are notably overrepresented among the transfused population accounting for complicated disease and even death in transfusion-transmitted babesiosis (TTB).  Despite an increase in both naturally acquired- and TTB, there are currently no effective strategies to prevent TTB, nor any FDA licensed tests for blood product screening. Babesia is also globally ubiquitous, yet lack of awareness, in part due to historically limited diagnostic tools, has impeded greater recognition of its role in human disease.

Dr. Bloch has participated in studies to develop both antibody and molecular tests for detection of Babesia. The studies have also been used to understand the biology of Babesia infection as well as to conduct surveillance outside of the US.

Dr. Bloch’s research has been funded through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through SBIR and R21 grant mechanisms. Ongoing projects are funded through International Society of Blood Transfusion, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NIAID and the Fisher Center Discovery Program.

The author of 34 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Bloch is a member of the International Society of Blood Transfusion infectious disease working party (co-chair parasite sub-group) and has consulted on policy and development of clinical transfusion guidelines. He continues to be interested in rare and neglected infections and hopes to use blood transfusion as a platform for infectious surveillance so as to guide programmatic support, particularly in low-resource settings. 

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Titles

  • Assistant Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • MBChB, University of Cape Town Medical School (1999)

Residencies

  • Tufts Medical Center / Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (2008)

Fellowships

  • University of California San Francisco (2009)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology / Anatomic Pathology (2008)
  • American Board of Pathology / Clinical Pathology (2009)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Primary Focus

  • Epidemiology and intervention trials focused on neglected infectious disease, such as Dengue, Zika and parasitic infections (e.g. babesia and malaria), specifically in the context of blood transfusion.
  • Clinical and operational blood safety in low resource settings
  • Experience with large multicenter, multinational studies that include NIH-funded projects (e.g. Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS-III) [South Arica-Obstetric hemorrhage and transfusion practice in relation to HIV], Babesia microti assay development for blood donor screening) and –recently- an intervention trial funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to evaluate the impact of azithromycin on childhood mortality in Tanzania.

Selected Publications

Bloch EM, Simon, MS and Shaz, BH. Emerging Infections and Blood Safety in the 21st Century. Ann Intern Med Mar 15 2016.

Bloch EM, Herwaldt BL, Leiby DA, Shaieb A, Herron RM, Chervenak M, Reed W, Hunter R, Ryals R, Hagar W, Xayavong MV, Slemenda SB, Pieniazek NJ, Wilkins PP, and Kjemtrup AM. The Third Described Case of Transfusion-Transmitted Babesia duncani. Transfusion 2011;52: 1517-22

Goodell AJ, Bloch EM, Krause PJ and Custer B. Costs, consequences, and cost-effectiveness of strategies for Babesia microti donor screening of the US blood supply. Transfusion 2014;54: 2245-57

Bloch EM, Levin AE, Williamson PC, et al. A prospective evaluation of chronic Babesia microti infection in seroreactive blood donors. Transfusion 2016; 56(7): 1875-82

Plourde A and Bloch EM. A Literature Review of Zika Virus. Emerg Infect Dis 2016; 22(7)

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