Potential and limitation of UVC irradiation for the inactivation of pathogens in platelet concentrates

Fokke G Terpstra, Angélique B van 't Wout, Hanneke Schuitemaker, Frank A C van Engelenburg, David W C Dekkers, Robin Verhaar, Dirk de Korte, Arthur J Verhoeven
Transfusion 2008, 48 (2): 304-13

BACKGROUND: Pathogen contamination, causing transfusion-transmitted diseases, is an ongoing concern in transfusion of cellular blood products. In this explorative study, the pathogen-inactivating capacity of UVC irradiation in platelet (PLT) concentrates was investigated. The dose dependencies of inactivation of several viruses and bacteria were compared with the effect on PLT quality.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The potential of UVC irradiation was studied with a range of lipid-enveloped (LE) and non-lipid-enveloped viruses (NLE) and bacteria. LE viruses were bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), pseudorabies virus (PRV), transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). NLE viruses were canine parvovirus (CPV) and simian virus 40 (SV40). Bacteria were Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Bacillus cereus. After spiking and irradiation, samples were tested for residual infectivity and reduction factors (RFs) were calculated. Furthermore, the effect of UVC irradiation on PLT quality was determined by measuring in vitro quality variables.

RESULTS: A UVC dose of 500 J per m(2) resulted in acceptable PLT quality (as measured by pH, lactate production, CD62P expression, and exposure of phosphatidylserine) and high RFs (>4 log) for CPV, TGEV, VSV, S. epidermidis, S. aureus, and E. coli. Intermediate RFs (approx. 3 log) were observed for BVDV, PRV, and B. cereus. Low RFs (approx. 1 log) were found for HIV and SV40. No differences in virus reduction were observed between cell-free and cell-associated virus.

CONCLUSION: UVC irradiation is a promising pathogen-reducing technique in PLT concentrates, inactivating bacteria, and a broad range of viruses (with the exception of HIV) under conditions that have limited effects on PLT quality. Further optimization of the UVC procedure, however, is necessary to deal with blood-borne viruses like HIV.

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