During the autopsy they found the presence of an infection with the agent (abnormal prion protein) of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in the spleen of a patient with hemophilia who died for another reason.
The autopsy was conducted as part of a study conducted in the UK. This patient was treated in the 1990’s with various batches of clotting factors from the UK, including a batch of factor VIII which has been manufactured from pooled plasma, that included a donor who later developed vCJD . The plasma donor developed symptoms of vCJD 6 months after the donation of plasma. The hemophiliac patient was 70 years old when he died of an illness independent of vCJD. During his life he never developed symptoms of vCJD or other neurological disease.
It is not yet certain how the abnormal prion protein was transmitted to this patient.
This is the first time an abnormal prion protein of vCJD was found in a patient with hemophilia or in any patient treated with stable plasma derivatives.
In Belgium, according to our information, no clotting factor produced from the above-mentioned pooled plasma has been used.
The Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products remains attentive to this issue.