Visible 405 nm violet-blue light successfully inactivates HIV-1 in human plasma

Ragupathy, Viswanath and Haleyurgirisetty, Mohan and Dahiya, Neetu and Stewart, Caitlin and Anderson, John and MacGregor, Scott and Maclean, Michelle and Hewlett, Indira and Atreya, Chintamani D (2022) Visible 405 nm violet-blue light successfully inactivates HIV-1 in human plasma. Pathogens, 11 (7). 778. ISSN 2076-0817 (

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Despite significant advances in ensuring the safety of the blood supply, there is continued risk of transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs) from newly emerging or re-emerging infections. Globally, several pathogen reduction technologies (PRTs) for blood safety have been in development as an alternative to traditional treatment methods. Despite broad spectrum antimicrobial efficacy, some of the approved ultraviolet (UV) light-based PRTs, understandably due to UV light-associated toxicities, fall short in preserving the full functional spectrum of the treated blood components. As a safer alternative to the UV-based microbicidal technologies, investigations into the use of violet-blue light in the region of 405 nm have been on the rise as these wavelengths do not impair the treated product at doses that demonstrate microbicidal activity. Recently, we have demonstrated that a 405 nm violet-blue light dose of 270 J/cm2 was sufficient for reducing bacteria and the parasite in plasma and platelets suspended in plasma while preserving the quality of the treated blood product stored for transfusion. Drawn from the previous experience, here we evaluated the virucidal potential of 405 nm violet-blue light dose of 270 J/cm2 on an important blood-borne enveloped virus, the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1), in human plasma. Both test plasma (HIV-1 spiked and treated with various doses of 405 nm light) and control plasma (HIV-1 spiked, but not treated with the light) samples were cultured with HIV-1 permissive H9 cell line for up to 21 days to estimate the viral titers. Quantitative HIV-1 p24 antigen (HIV-1 p24) levels reflective of HIV-1 titers were measured for each light dose to assess virus infectivity. Our results demonstrate that a 405 nm light dose of 270 J/cm2 is also capable of 4–5 log HIV-1 reduction in plasma under the conditions tested. Overall, this study provides the first proof-of-concept that 405 nm violet-blue light successfully inactivates HIV-1 present in human plasma, thereby demonstrating its potential towards being an effective PRT for this blood component safety.