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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 has long been interested in babesiosis and other transfusion transmitted infections. Babesiosis is a tick-borne parasitic infection that is endemic to parts of the United States. Although infection is characterized by mild illness (e.g. flu-like symptoms) in immune competent adults, it 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. Dr. Bloch has participated in studies to develop both antibody and molecular testis for detection of Babesia in blood donors. The studies have also been used to understand the biology of Babesia infection.

Dr. Bloch is also interested in blood safety in resource-constrained settings. He is an investigator on the Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS-III) in South Africa where he has helped lead a series of studies on transfusion practice and HIV in the obstetric population. Blood transfusion is a severity outcome measure for a variety of disease states; as such it can be used to highlight deficiencies in care, thereby informing rational intervention. Dr. Bloch also participated in an evaluation of transfusion infectious screening in twelve African countries; the findings highlighted the challenges surrounding extant testing methods and emphasized the need for proficiency testing for donor screening in Africa. He has been actively involved in education and operational outreach related to blood safety in Africa.

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.

The author of 25 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.

Goodell AJ, Bloch EM, Simon MS, H Shaz BH and Custer B. Babesia Screening: The Importance of Reporting and Calibration in Cost-Effectiveness Models. Transfusion 2016; 56(3): 774-5.

Bloch EM, Levin AE, Williamson PC, et al. A prospective evaluation of chronic Babesia microti infection in seroreactive blood donors. Transfusion 2016.

Levin AE, Williamson PC, Bloch EM, et al. Serologic screening of United States blood donors for Babesia microti using an investigational enzyme immunoassay. Transfusion 2016. May 25. doi: 10.1111/trf.13618. [Epub ahead of print]

Van den BergK, BlochEM, AkuA, MabengeM, CreelD, HofmeyrGJ and L MurphyEL for the International Component of the NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III). A Cross-Sectional Study of Peripartum Blood Transfusion in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. South African Medical Journal 2016. [accepted 9 June 2016]

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