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Children come first in CJD safety drive

点击量:   时间:2018-01-03 01:02:11

By Michael Day BRITAIN’s child haemophiliacs are to be given genetically engineered clotting agents to remove any risk of their contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the government has announced. An unknown number of Britons could be incubating the new variant of CJD linked to the consumption of BSE-infected meat. Haemophiliacs, who receive clotting factors derived from thousands of pooled blood donations, face a much higher risk of infection than people given transfusions of donated blood (This Week, 3 January, p 5). Last week, the government responded to these concerns by announcing the switch to recombinant clotting factors made in rodent cells for children with haemophilia. At a meeting with haemophilia centre directors, Department of Health officials said the government would bear the increased cost (see Figure). The National Blood Authority’s Bio Products Laboratory has also been given permission to replace other products derived from blood plasma with imports from the US. These include clotting factors for adult haemophiliacs, albumin—given to patients in severe shock—and immunoglobulins, which are used for immunisations. “This is certainly a move in the right direction,” says Christopher Ludlam of the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, head of the UK Haemophilia Directors’ Association. But he warns that the decision to limit recombinant clotting factors to those under 16 is arbitrary, and could cause problems. “It’s always possible someone’s going to make a legal challenge to this,” he says. A Haemophilia Society spokesman says: “Ideally,