Researchers have demonstrated that exposing the novel COVID19 to the vitamin riboflavin and ultraviolet light reduces the vital count in blood plasma and whole blood products, an advance that may help lower the possibility of transmission of the Coronavirus via blood transfusion.
The scientists from CSU in the US, said it still unknown if the SARS-CoV-2 or the novel Coronavirus, behind the COVID19 pandemic, can be transmitted by blood transfusion.
In the research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers used a new type of device called as MPRTS or Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology System to treat nine plasma and three whole blood products.
We eliminated a huge amount of Coronavirus and we could not detect the virus post treatment, said Izabela Ragan, study co-author from CSU.
The device invented by Ray Goodrich, senior author of the study from CSU, works by exposing the blood product or plasma to Ultraviolet light.
Heather Pidcoke, another co-author on the study, explained that the plasma or blood product is placed in a specially designed storage bag, following which riboflavin solution is added to this, and the mixture is them exposed to Ultraviolet light.
The device gently shakes the bag to circulate the blood cells, so the cells come to the surface where they are exposed to the Ultraviolet light, the study noted.
However, the researchers warned that this is not an experiment to try at home.
They said that the UV light does not penetrate the entire bag, so it's not same as exposing body parts to Ultraviolet light.
Scientists said the device may help avoid what happened in the 1980s, when HIV was transmitted through blood products and blood while researchers were still trying to isolate and identify what might be causing the spread of the deadly virus.
However, Goodrich noted that the Mirasol system is curently only approved for use outside of United States, mainly in Europe, Afric and the Middle East.
Our research may help inform people outside the United States who are using it, he said.