They found that leukoreduction alone removed 72% of input infectivity, but when they challenged a group of 99 hamsters with the leukoreduced but unfiltered red cell concentrate, 15 of the animals became infected.
In contrast, none of either 96 transfused with blood that had been passed through the L13 affinity resin, nor any of the 100 animals exposed to blood passed through the L13A resin, went on to develop the disease at the last follow-up of 540 days.
The limit of detection of the bioassay was 0.2 infectious doses per mL, and the overall reduction of the challenge infectivity was more than 1.22 log10, the authors noted.
"The results showed removal of endogenous transmissible spongiform encephalopathy infectivity from leukoreduced whole blood by affinity ligands," they wrote. "The same resins adsorb normal and abnormal prion protein from human infections with variant, sporadic, and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, in the presence of blood components."