Biotechnol. Prog. 2015 Mar 04
Mechanistic evaluation of virus clearance by depth filtration.   
Virus clearance by depth filtration has not been well-understood mechanistically due to lack of quantitative data on filter charge characteristics and absence of systematic studies. It is generally believed that both electrostatic interactions and sized based mechanical entrapment contribute to virus clearance by depth filtration. In order to establish whether the effectiveness of virus clearance correlates with the charge characteristics of a given depth filter, a counter-ion displacement technique was employed to determine the ionic capacity for several depth filters. Two depth filters (Millipore B1HC and X0HC) with significant differences in ionic capacities were selected and evaluated for their ability to eliminate viruses. The high ionic capacity X0HC filter showed complete porcine parvovirus (PPV) clearance (eliminating the spiked viruses to below the limit of detection) under low conductivity conditions (≤2.5 mS/cm), achieving a log10 reduction factor (LRF) of > 4.8. On the other hand, the low ionic capacity B1HC filter achieved only ∼2.1-3.0 LRF of PPV clearance under the same conditions. These results indicate that parvovirus clearance by these two depth filters are mainly achieved via electrostatic interactions between the filters and PPV. When much larger xenotropic murine leukemia virus (XMuLV) was used as the model virus, complete retrovirus clearance was obtained under all conditions evaluated for both depth filters, suggesting the involvement of mechanisms other than just electrostatic interactions in XMuLV clearance.

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