Infectious agents, including HIV and several types of hepatitis viruses, can contaminate human blood. Plasma products are obtained from the industrial processing of several thousands of blood/plasma donations. The prevention of the infectious risks from the infusion of plasma products requires specific measures. Those have improved both in efficacy and specificity in the last few years. Plasma units used for fractionation are collected from a selected donor population (in France, donors are non-remunerated), which contributes to exclude individuals with high-risk behaviour (such as drug addicts) or other risk factors (such as travel to countries where the prevalence of a given infectious agent is high). Each blood/plasma unit is individually screened to exclude donations positive for a direct (e.g. viral antigen) or an indirect (e.g. anti-viral antibodies) viral marker. In addition, prior to the large-pool processing, samples of each donation are pooled ('mini-pool') and controlled by a nucleic acid test to detect the presence of viral genomes. Currently, in Europe, this test is required for HCV; individual donations are discarded if they are found positive. The industrial pool (volume of plasma generally higher than 2 000 litres) is itself subjected to additional viral screening tests. Then, the pool undergoes a series of processing and purification steps that, for each individual plasma product, comprise one or several viral inactivation or elimination treatments against HIV, HBV, and HCV, and other viruses. The viral inactivation treatments most often used are solvent-detergent incubation and pasteurisation. Nanofiltration (viral elimination by filtration) is increasingly used, as an additional viral reduction step. Thanks to this combination of measures, viral transmission events by plasma products have become very rare. Nevertheless, the potential for a contamination of human blood by a new infectious agent requires a continuous vigilance that would facilitate to quickly implement efficient counteractions. The advantages and limits of current viral safety measures are presented and compared.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
- Plasma products
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