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A feasibility study on the effects of Triton X-100 for the in vitro inactivation of Ebola virus on haematological assays
  1. Antoinette Mifsud1,
  2. Daphne Peelen1,2,
  3. Patricia Brincat1,
  4. Sylvana Abela1,
  5. Neville Debattista3,
  6. Stefan Laspina3,
  7. Daniel Zammit1,
  8. David J Camilleri1,
  9. Alex Gatt1
  1. 1Department of Haematology, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  2. 2VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Hospital Blood Bank, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alex Gatt, Department of Haematology, Mater Dei Hospital, Tal-Qroqq, Msida, Malta; MSD2090 alexander.a.gatt{at}


Aims The aim of this study was to check the effect of Triton X-100 on various, commonly used haematology test parameters.

Methods Anonymised blood samples were treated with 10 µL of 10% Triton X-100 per 1 mL of blood. Treated and untreated samples were tested in parallel for blood film morphology, complete blood counts (CBCs), flow cytometry, blood grouping and antibody screens. Samples were also taken in 3.2% citrate tubes for coagulation test analyses.

Results Statistical differences were noted in all CBC parameters apart from the mean cell volume, eosinophil and basophil counts. Platelet counts were significantly different with an apparent rise after the addition of Triton X-100. Samples were noted to have a high red cell fragmentation index. Immunological platelet counting methods using flow cytometry and fluorescent methods showed no significant differences and gave reliable results. Neither flow cytometry for T-cell subsets nor blood grouping/antibody screens were affected by Triton X-100. However, coagulation samples were severely haemolysed prohibiting analysis.

Conclusions We have demonstrated that the addition of Triton X-100 to haematology blood samples impacts mainly on platelet counts and coagulation studies due to haemolysis. The platelet count is spuriously raised probably due to the presence of red cell fragments. The latter can be circumvented by the use of immunological platelet counting technology.


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