Blood Banks: Researchers Develop Protocol Using Vitamin B2 And UV Light To Inactivate SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus In Whole Blood and Plasma
: Though medical experts are still have no proof that SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, considering the many anomalies of this new virus researchers have decided to still proceed to find ways to make sure that blood stocks are safe.
Medical researchers from Colorado State University used existing technologies to show that exposing the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to Vitamin B2 or riboflavin and ultraviolet light reduces pathogens in human plasma and whole-blood products.
The research findings were published in the medical journal PLOS ONE. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233947
Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University, Dr Izabela Ragan said the research team tackled one of the main issues about the novel coronavirus in that if the pathogen can spread through blood or by donating blood, a manner needed to be found to eradicate or inactivate the virus for good in blood supplies.
Dr Ragan told Thailand Medical News, "The research we conducted answers that issue in that it could be done. We managed to eliminate a huge amount of the novel coronavirus and we could not detect the virus post-treatment."
The study team used the Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology System to treat nine plasma and three whole-blood products for the study.
The existing technology which is owned by medical device company Terumo BCT was invented by Dr Ray Goodrich, senior author of the study and executive director of the Infectious Disease Research Center at CSU. He is also a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology.
Co-author on the study and chief medical research officer at CSU, Dr Heather Pidcoke, said the process used by the research team is quite simple.
First the blood product or plasma is placed in a specially designed storage bag, riboflavin solution is then added, and the mixture is finally then exposed to UV light. The Mirasol PRT device gently shakes the bag to circulate the blood cells, so the cells come to the surface where they are exposed to the UV light.
The researchers warn that this is not an experiment to try at home. The light does not penetrate the entire bag, so it's not the same as exposing body parts to UV light.
Dr Goodrich said the research may help to avoid what happened in the 1980s, when HIV was transmitted through blood and blood products while scientists were still trying to isolate and identify what might be causing the spread of the virus.
It should be noted however the Mirasol system is currently only approved for use outside of the United States, mainly in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Dr Goodrich added, "Our research may help inform healthcare professionals outside the United States who are using it. They may breathe a sigh of relief knowing that while we continue to study this, there is some potential mitigation in place just in case."
The research team is also currently studying whether SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitte
d by blood and they hope to present findings of this very soon.
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