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Development of a peptide-ligand-based device to remove bacterial contamination from platelet concentrates

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center




  • N Patel
  • P Gurgel
  • A Naik
  • D Asher
  • L Gregori


Nine million platelet concentrates (PC) are transfused each year in the US. A significant number of PC transfusions cause sepsis, of which more than 100 cases per year are fatal—currently the most common transfusion-transmitted infection. Contamination with as few as 1-10 CFU/ml at the time of collection can lead to unacceptably high levels of bacteria in a unit at time of transfusion. Current methods to detect bacteria and inactivate them are inadequate to assure safe blood components. We aim to develop a filter that captures bacteria using affinity ligands. We screened combinatorial libraries of short peptides and identified a subset of amino acid sequences binding strongly to Staphylococcus epidermis, one of the most common bacterial contaminants of PC. Subsequent screening of those peptide ligand candidates will suggest optimal ligands to synthesize (graft) onto functionally modified membrane surfaces. We have already verified that the base membrane without attached ligand does not affect platelet counts and function or lyse bacteria. We will assess ligand-bound membranes for their ability to remove bacteria spiked into PC without compromising platelet count or function. If successful, our filter should provide a method to reduce the risk of bacterial sepsis transmitted by contaminated PC transfusions.

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