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Transfus Clin Biol. 2007 May;14(1):51-62. Epub 2007 May 30.

Manufacture of plasma-derived products in France and measures to prevent the risk of vCJD transmission: precautionary measures and efficacy of manufacturing processes in prion removal.

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LFB S.A., 3 avenue des Tropiques, B.P. 305 Les Ulis, 91958 Courtaboeuf cedex, France.


The emergence of the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the mid 1990s soon raised concerns about its possible transmission through the use of blood and plasma-derived medicinal products. A risk analysis approach was initiated by health authorities, based on updated scientific knowledge and precautionary measures were implemented in France and other countries for the management of this new possible risk. Assessment of the vCJD risk is based on epidemiology and estimates of the number of potential cases in the future, on blood infectivity data from models of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and on data from studies of the capacity of manufacturing processes to remove the agent, should it be present in the plasma of infected donors. The transmission of vCJD by non leukocyte-depleted labile blood components has recently been confirmed. There have been no reports of cases associated with the use of plasma-derived products and the scientific data, and risk analyses for those plasma products, which are of the greatest therapeutic interest, support their safety with respect to this transmission risk. The precautionary measures applied in France and the data contributing to the risk assessment of plasma products are reviewed and updated in the present paper. The uncertainties, which remain, are also addressed and discussed, as well as the ongoing research and developments in this area.

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