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Intercept Pathogen Reduction

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Intercept Blood System (Cerus Corporation, Concord, California) for pathogen reduction for plasma and single donor apheresis platelets. Potential pathogens and lymphocytes are inactivated by adding amotosalen, which binds to DNA and RNA. Exposure to ultraviolet light disrupts the nucleic acids. The Intercept System decreases the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, West Nile virus as well as Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria. T cells are also decreased enough to lower the risk of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease (TA-GvHD). Bacterial spores and non-enveloped viruses, such as human parvovirus B19, hepatitis E, hepatitis are resistant to treatment.

FDA recently granted Investigational Device Exemption status to the system for two studies, one on reducing the risk of transfusion transmission of the chikungunya and dengue viruses and another in which researchers are preparing Ebola convalescent plasma to treat those infected with Ebola virus disease, or EVD. To increase U.S. preparedness for Ebola, researchers are creating a stockpile of convalescent plasma that has been treated with Intercept. 

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