Blood Factors for Hemophilia Don't Spread Virus-CDC
Thu Jan 2, 5:15 PM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Virally inactivated blood products used to treat patients with bleeding problems are unlikely to spread hepatitis, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) (CDC).
Since 1998, the CDC and roughly 140 federally funded hemophilia treatment centers have monitored the safety of blood products through the Universal Data Collection surveillance project, the CDC's Dr. Anna Kirtava and colleagues note in January 3rd issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The blood of people with hemophilia does not clot properly, putting them at risk of uncontrolled bleeding. Hemophilia patients are treated with concentrates containing factors that help blood clot, which can contain blood donated by many different people. While there were outbreaks of hepatitis and HIV (news - web sites) among people with hemophilia who received such products in the 1970s to early 1990s, manufacturers now use procedures to inactivate any viral material present in blood factor products.
In investigations conducted between May 1998 and June 2002, 1,149 patients with bleeding disorders seroconverted to hepatitis-positive status. This means that their blood went from being free of antibodies to the hepatitis virus to containing these antibodies, but does not necessarily signify infection with the virus. For example, vaccination for hepatitis causes seroconversion.
Importantly, the researchers say, "none of these cases was attributable to blood products received during this time period."
Most seroconversions of hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) could be attributed to vaccination, 99% and 90%, respectively, they report. The remaining seroconversions most likely represented infections from other sources, or "fluctuations in antibody levels" that can occur in people with HIV.
SOURCE: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2003;51:1152-1154.