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Scientific reports

Inactivation of HCV and HIV by microwave: a novel approach for prevention of virus transmission among people who inject drugs.


PMID 27857152

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) transmissions among people who inject drugs (PWID) continue to pose a challenging global health problem. Here, we aimed to analyse a universally applicable inactivation procedure, namely microwave irradiation, as a safe and effective method to reduce the risk of viral transmission. The exposure of HCV from different genotypes to microwave irradiation resulted in a significant reduction of viral infectivity. Furthermore, microwave irradiation reduced viral infectivity of HIV-1 and of HCV/HIV-1 suspensions indicating that this inactivation may be effective at preventing co-infections. To translate microwave irradiation as prevention method to used drug preparation equipment, we could further show that HCV as well as HIV-1 infectivity could be abrogated in syringes and filters. This study demonstrates the power of microwave irradiation for the reduction of viral transmission and establishment of this safety strategy could help reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses.