Partitioning of TSE infectivity during ethanol fractionation of human plasma

L Gregori, J-A Maring, C MacAuley, B Dunston, M Rentsch, C Kempf, R G Rohwer
Biologicals: Journal of the International Association of Biological Standardization 2004, 32 (1): 1-10
The practice of validating processes for their capacity to inactivate a range of non-enveloped and enveloped viruses also provides confidence that plasma products will be safe from emerging viral pathogens with known aetiology. Of greater concern are diseases of unknown or poorly defined aetiology such as the group of neurological diseases collectively called the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, for which the best known human disease is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and its variant form (vCJD). The goal of the current study was to investigate the potential for manufacturing steps used in the production of albumin and immunoglobulin products by Kistler-Nitschmann fractionation, and the utility of nanofiltration of immunoglobulin to remove TSE agents. Two different scrapie model systems were used. In the first system infectious material used for spiking was scrapie sheep brain homogenate with infectivity titres being measured in hamsters. In the second system purified scrapie agent was used (PrP fibrils) with Western blot analysis measuring reduction in the proteinase K resistant form being used as a measure of removal. The data demonstrated substantial removal of the infectious agent by the manufacturing process in both model systems although some differences were observed in partitioning of the two different infectious materials. The hamster infectivity studies were shown to be approximately 1000 fold more sensitive than the Western Blot assay. The data from both studies provide added confidence that these plasma products are safe with respect to their potential to transmit TSE.

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