The probability of transfusion-transmitted infections could be reduced by using an Intercept system for plasma that is now approved by U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This system removes pathogenic micro-organisms such as HIV, West Nile virus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus by exposing plasma to ultraviolet rays and amotosalen. Amotosalen causes deactivation of these pathogens. The plasma is separated from blood by using a process of apheresis. Once this photochemical process is done, the plasma and red blood cells are placed back to the patient after purifying it in order to remove chemical and its by-products.
“The approval of devices like the Intercept Blood System allows blood establishments to prepare plasma that carries a lower risk of transmitting infectious pathogens through transfusion,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Remember, it is not possible as yet to remove all the possible bacteria and viruses from that can transmit via infusions. Incercept Blood system is the only FDA approved method that gives protection against wide range of bacteria and viruses but certain spore producing bacteria and viruses are showing resistant against this system.
The safety of Inctecept Blood system was evaluated by conducting eight trials in which 704 patients were enrolled.
There was no difference in side effects observed in patients who used plasma that was prepared from Intercept Blood system with plasma that was not undergone any pathogen reduction system.
The intercept Blood system for plasma is being marketed by Cerus Corporation, Concord, California.
FDA News Release