Complete inactivation of blood borne pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi in stored human platelet concentrates and plasma treated with 405nm violet-blue light

Jankowska, Katarzyna I. and Nagarkatti, Rana and Acharyya, Nirmallya and Dahiya, Neetu and Stewart, Caitlin and Macpherson, Ruairidh and Wilson, Mark and Anderson, John and MacGregor, Scott and Maclean, Michelle and Dey, Neil and Debranant, Alain and Atreya, Chintamani D (2020) Complete inactivation of blood borne pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi in stored human platelet concentrates and plasma treated with 405nm violet-blue light. Frontiers in Medicine, 7. 617373. ISSN 2296-858X (

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The introduction of pathogen reduction technologies (PRTs) to inactivate bacteria, viruses and parasites in donated blood components stored for transfusion adds to the existing arsenal toward reducing the risk of transfusion-transmitted infectious diseases (TTIDs). We have previously demonstrated that 405 nm violet-blue light effectively reduces blood-borne bacteria in stored human plasma and platelet concentrates. In this report, we investigated the microbicidal effect of 405 nm light on one important bloodborne parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that causes Chagas disease in humans. Our results demonstrated that a light irradiance at 15 mWcm −2 for 5 h, equivalent to 270 Jcm −2, effectively inactivated T. cruzi by over 9.0 Log 10, in plasma and platelets that were evaluated by a MK2 cell infectivity assay. Giemsa stained T. cruzi infected MK2 cells showed that the light-treated parasites in plasma and platelets were deficient in infecting MK2 cells and did not differentiate further into intracellular amastigotes unlike the untreated parasites. The light-treated and untreated parasite samples were then evaluated for any residual infectivity by injecting the treated parasites into Swiss Webster mice, which did not develop infection even after the animals were immunosuppressed, further demonstrating that the light treatment was completely effective for inactivation of the parasite; the light-treated platelets had similar in vitro metabolic and biochemical indices to that of untreated platelets. Overall, these results provide a proof of concept toward developing 405 nm light treatment as a pathogen reduction technology (PRT) to enhance the safety of stored human plasma and platelet concentrates from bloodborne T. cruzi, which causes Chagas disease.


Jankowska, Katarzyna I., Nagarkatti, Rana, Acharyya, Nirmallya, Dahiya, Neetu, Stewart, Caitlin, Macpherson, Ruairidh ORCID logoORCID:, Wilson, Mark ORCID logoORCID:, Anderson, John ORCID logoORCID:, MacGregor, Scott ORCID logoORCID:, Maclean, Michelle ORCID logoORCID:, Dey, Neil, Debranant, Alain and Atreya, Chintamani D;