Since 1982, when the World Federation of Hemophilia first published a document on the state of the art of hemophilia diagnosis and care, there have been lights and shadows in this field. Although the widespread infection of hemophiliacs with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) contaminting clotting factor concentrates is still a threatening and formidable shadow, the gloomy picture brought about by the AIDS epidemic is partially lightened by spectacular improvements in therapy and diagnosis. Carrier detection and first-trimester prenatal diagnosis can now be performed accurately in most kindreds by analysis of DNA of the factor VIII or IX genes. An important step forward towards the elimination of the risk of blood-borne infections transmitted by plasma products was recently made through the application of virucidal methods to clotting factor concentrates. Since HIV appears more vulnerable to such methods than the hepatitis viruses, currently available concentrates can be considered substantially free from the risk of transmitting HIV infection. Even though transmission of hepatitis is much reduced but not totally abolished, virucidal methods are continuously being improved, so that it can be foreseen that concentrates will become safer and safer. Finally, factor VIII produced by recombinant DNA technology is undergoing the first clinical trials in hemophiliacs. Hopefully, it will free from the risk of transmitting infections and will be available in sufficiently large amounts to meet the need of hemophiliacs worldwide.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
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