Philadelphia, PA, April 10, 2014 Scientists in France have designed a new system for molecular blood group typing that offers blood banks the possibility of extensive screening of blood donors at a relatively low cost. Their approach is described in the current issue of The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.
Although blood transfusion is generally safe, alloimmunization (when an antibody is formed in response to an antigen that is not present on a person's own red blood cells [RBCs]) remains a dreaded complication, particularly in patients with sickle cell diseases.
"This may cause problems, ranging from delayed hemolytic transfusion reaction to difficulty in obtaining matched RBCs. Where patients have alloantibodies, producing a sufficient quantity of extensively typed blood units will never be feasible using conventional serologic donor screening methods," explains lead investigator Jean-Charles Brs, PhD, of the Etablissement Franais du Sang Pyrnes Mditerrane, Montpellier.
The standard technique, conventional hemagglutination, is a lengthy procedure and involves only a limited range of antigen testing. In this antibody-based agglutination, RBCs suspended in liquid collect into clumps when bound by the antigen-specific antibody. Dr. Brs adds, "In the French Blood Service, the Etablissement Franais du Sang (EFS), blood donation qualification laboratories test all blood donations for A, B, O, Rhesus (RH1), and KEL (KEL1) blood groups, but only 5% to 10% of donations are tested for other clinically significant antigens."
The investigators therefore developed a new flexible DNA microarray platform for molecular blood group typing. This includes two robotic workstations that allow processing from blood sample to the genotype. A pilot study shows promising results for responding to blood donor laboratories' requirements for simple, low-cost screening.
For small batch production, the cost of genotyping, includi
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Elsevier Health Sciences