Researchers Find UV Light and Riboflavin Can Reduces SARS-CoV-2 Pathogens in Blood

Worldwide researchers continues to explore the possible ways to defeat the novel coronavirus. UV light is considered one of the effective ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection as it deactivates microorganism in air, water and on the surface. A new study from Colorado State University (CSU) found that UV light can also diminish SARS-CoV-2 virus in blood.

Researchers at CSU used existing technologies to show that exposing the coronavirus to riboflavin and UV light reduces pathogens in human plasma and whole-blood products. The result was published on May 29 in PLOS ONE, titled "Pathogen reduction of SARS-CoV-2 virus in plasma and whole blood using riboflavin and UV light."

The new research has found the solution to kill SARS-CoV-2 virus in blood if it could be transmitted via blood transfusion, which is still unknown at the moment. CSU researchers are currently studying whether SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted by blood. Ragan said they hope to answer that question very soon.

(Image: CSU)

Dr. Izabela Ragan, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at CSU, said the research team eliminated a huge amount of virus and could not detect the virus after exposed the tested blood with the Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology (PRT) System.

The blood product or plasma is placed in a specially designed storage bag, riboflavin solution is added, and the mixture is then exposed to UV light. The Mirasol PRT device gently shakes the bag to circulate the blood cells, so the cells come to the surface where they are exposed to the UV light.

The authors caution that this is not an experiment to try at home. The light does not penetrate the entire bag, so it's not the same as exposing body parts to UV light.

The research may also help to treat other blood transmitted diseases such as HIV, according to the scientists. However, the Mirasol system is currently only approved for use outside of the United States, mainly in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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