Because of concern about the safety of immune globulins with respect to transmission of hepatitis C, the partitioning of hepatitis C virus (HCV) during alcohol fractionation of a plasma pool prepared exclusively from anti‐HCV‐reactive donations was examined. Quantitation of HCV RNA was accomplished by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at limiting dilutions. One PCR unit was arbitrarily defined as the minimum amount of HCV RNA from which an amplified product could be detected. The starting plasma pool contained 1.4 × 10(5) PCR units per mL. Most of the HCV RNA was found in cryoprecipitate and in Cohn fractions I and III, but it was also detected in fraction II, which is used for immunoglobulin G preparations. A 3.4‐percent solution of IgG prepared from this fraction II contained 30 PCR units per mL. The fractionation process leading to immune globulin resulted in overall reduction in HCV RNA by a factor of 4.7 × 10(4). Although the presence of HCV RNA in the final product does not necessarily imply the presence of infectious virus, this work suggests that the safety of immune globulins with respect to HCV transmission is not due solely to the partitioning of HCV away from the immunoglobulin fraction.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Nov 12, 1992
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