A new test could help prevent the spread of hepatitis viruses through donated blood plasma, the conference of the American Society of Hematology has been told.
New test may detect viruses in plasma donations previously testing negative
Mass trials of the investigational polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test led to the detection of more than 800 cases of previously undetected viral infection, the conference in San Francisco, California, USA, was told.
The trials involved using the PCR technique to test 4.1 million plasma donations that had previously tested negative for infection. The test identified viral traces of hepatitis A, B, and C and also of HIV-1.
A second trial, reported by developers Aventis Behring, of Pennsylvania, USA, was of a PCR in-process test for hepatitis A and parvovirus B19. The tests on more than one million plasma donations identified 11 that tested positive for hepatitis A and 82 that were positive for parvovirus B19.
Dr Fred Feldman, chief research and development scientist for Aventis Behring, said, "Results from voluntary screening of 4.1 million plasma donations with our proprietary investigational PCR technology are very encouraging.
"The data suggest that this test may be of assistance in detecting the presence of viruses in plasma donations previously testing negative by current standards."
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