In order to store a sample of stem cells, according to international standards, it is necessary to undergo tests for specific virus detection and tests for the presence of bacteria. The virogy tests are performed for detection of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV 1, HIV 2 and the microbiology tests for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.
These tests must be performed in the blood of the umbilical cord, that eventually is stored and will be used in the future. The safest method for the tracking of the presence of these viruses is the real time PCR that detects the circulation of the virus directly after infection. This method differs from antibody detection tests that are performed in the mother’s blood during the first trimester and they trace only indirectly the presence of the virus in her blood, through its interference with her immune system. The presence of antibodies in the mother’s or baby’s blood doesn’t detect virus infection, since there is no trace of real virus particles.
Because it takes time for our body to develop antibodies after virus infection, there is danger while the mother has been infected and the virus has probably passed to the embryo this method can not detect the virus on time and thus produces falsely negative results, while the virus is present. The immunologic tests in the blood of the mother in order to be valid must be repeated on the labor day and 6 months after birth. In the case that they are found positive for a virus after cells’ cryopreservation it is impossible to check if the stem cells were infected or not, because we need to defrost the cells in order to make the tests. The immunological tests that are performed in the baby’s blood during birth, detect only the antibodies that were passed normally from the mother to the child for its protection and no virus particles.
PCR technology provides direct detection of viruses in the blood of the child and releases the mother from continual tests that are indirect and give a higher probability that the child will be infected by the virus. This method presents special value and is necessary for mothers carriers of the virus that directly are informed if the virus has passed to the newborn or not and accordingly adjust their therapy.
The microbiological tests are performed for the tracing of aerobic or anaerobic bacteria and fungi by certified equipment that has the sensitivity of tracking even one colony. For the case that one sample comes to the lab infected, Biohellenika has special equipment by which the microbe can be characterized, tests its pathogenic potential and gives the most appropriate antibiotic. Usually the microbes that are detected are not strongly pathogenic and the sample would be falsely rejected, especially for those cases that would it the future need this valuable material.