Photochemical treatment of plasma with amotosalen and long-wavelength ultraviolet light inactivates pathogens while retaining coagulation function

Transfusion. 2006 Jul;46(7):1168-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2006.00867.x.


Background: The INTERCEPT Blood System, a photochemical treatment (PCT) process, has been developed to inactivate pathogens in platelet concentrates. These studies evaluated the efficacy of PCT to inactivate pathogens in plasma and the effect of PCT on plasma function.

Study design and methods: Jumbo (600 mL) plasma units were inoculated with high titers of test pathogens and treated with 150 micromol per L amotosalen and 3 J per cm(2) long-wavelength ultraviolet light. The viability of each pathogen before and after treatment was measured with biological assays. Plasma function was evaluated through measurement of coagulation factors and antithrombotic protein activities.

Results: The levels of inactivation expressed as log-reduction were as follows: cell-free human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), greater than 6.8; cell-associated HIV-1, greater than 6.4; human T-lymphotropic virus-I (HTLV-I), 4.5; HTLV-II, greater than 5.7; hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus, greater than 4.5; duck HBV, 4.4 to 4.5; bovine viral diarrhea virus, 6.0; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, 5.5; West Nile virus, 6.8; bluetongue virus, 5.1; human adenovirus 5, 6.8; Klebsiella pneumoniae, greater than 7.4; Staphylococcus epidermidis and Yersinia enterocolitica, greater than 7.3; Treponema pallidum, greater than 5.9; Borrelia burgdorferi, greater than 10.6; Plasmodium falciparum, 6.9; Trypanosoma cruzi, greater than 5.0; and Babesia microti, greater than 5.3. Retention of coagulation factor activity after PCT was expressed as the proportion of pretreatment (baseline) activity. Retention was 72 to 73 percent of baseline fibrinogen and Factor (F)VIII activity and 78 to 98 percent for FII, FV, FVII, F IX, FX, FXI, FXIII, protein C, protein S, antithrombin, and alpha2-antiplasmin.

Conclusion: PCT of plasma inactivated high levels of a wide range of pathogens while maintaining adequate coagulation function. PCT has the potential to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases in patients requiring plasma transfusion support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / radiation effects
  • Blood Coagulation / radiation effects
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / analysis
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / radiation effects
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens / radiation effects*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Eukaryota / radiation effects
  • Furocoumarins / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Parasites / radiation effects
  • Photochemistry / methods*
  • Plasma / radiation effects
  • Plasma / virology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Virus Inactivation / radiation effects
  • Viruses / radiation effects


  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Furocoumarins
  • amotosalen