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1.  Alloimmunization and autoimmunization in transfusion dependent thalassemia major patients: Study on 319 patients 
Background:
The development of anti-red blood cell antibodies (both allo-and autoantibodies) remains a major problem in thalassemia major patients. We studied the frequency of red blood cell (RBC) alloimmunization and autoimmunization among thalassemia patients who received regular transfusions at our center and analyzed the factors, which may be responsible for development of these antibodies.
Materials and Methods:
The study was carried out on 319 multiply transfused patients with β-thalassemia major registered with thalassemia clinic at our institute. Clinical and transfusion records of all the patients were examined for age of patients, age at initiation of transfusion therapy, total number of blood units transfused, transfusion interval, status of splenectomy or other interventions. Alloantibody screening and identification was done using three cell and 11 cell panel (Diapanel, Bio-rad, Switzerland) respectively. To detect autoantibodies, autocontrol was carried out using polyspecific coombs (IgG + C3d) gel cards.
Results:
Eighteen patients out of total 319 patients (5.64%) developed alloantibodies and 90 (28.2%) developed autoantibodies. Nine out of 18 patients with alloantibodies also had autoantibodies. Age at first transfusion was significantly higher in alloimmunized than non-immunized patients (P = 0.042). Out of 23 alloantibodies, 52.17% belonged to Rh blood group system (Anti-E = 17%, Anti D = 13%, Anti-C = 13%, Anti-Cw = 9%), 35% belonged to Kell blood group system, 9% of Kidd and 4% of Xg blood group system.
Conclusion:
Alloimmunization was detected in 5.64% of multitransfused thalassemia patients. Rh and Kell blood group system antibodies accounted for more than 80% of alloantibodies. This study re-emphasizes the need for RBC antigen typing before first transfusion and issue of antigen matched blood (at least for Rh and Kell antigen). Early institution of transfusion therapy after diagnosis is another means of decreasing alloimmunization.
doi:10.4103/0973-6247.137438
PMCID: PMC4140069  PMID: 25161344
Alloimmunization; autoimmunization; thalassemia major; transfusion
2.  Current testing strategies for hepatitis C virus infection in blood donors and the way forward 
Screening tests for blood donations are based upon sensitivity, cost-effectiveness and their suitability for high-throughput testing. Enzyme immunoassay (EIAs) for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies were the initial screening tests introduced. The ”first generation“ antibody EIAs detected seroconversion after unduly long infectious window period. Improved HCV antibody assays still had an infectious window period around 66 d. HCV core antigen EIAs shortened the window period considerably, but high costs did not lead to widespread acceptance. A fourth-generation HCV antigen and antibody assay (combination EIA) is more convenient as two infectious markers of HCV are detected in the same assay. Molecular testing for HCV-RNA utilizing nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) is the most sensitive assay and shortens the window period to only 4 d. Implementation of NAT in many developed countries around the world has resulted in dramatic reductions in transfusion transmissible HCV and relative risk is now < 1 per million donations. However, HCV serology still continues to be retained as some donations are serology positive but NAT negative. In resource constrained countries HCV screening is highly variable, depending upon infrastructure, trained manpower and financial resource. Rapid tests which do not require instrumentation and are simple to perform are used in many small and remotely located blood centres. The sensitivity as compared to EIAs is less and wherever feasible HCV antibody EIAs are most frequently used screening assays. Efforts have been made to implement combined antigen-antibody assays and even NAT in some of these countries.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i11.2948
PMCID: PMC3961983  PMID: 24659885
Hepatitis C virus; Screening tests; Blood donors; Immunoassays; Nucleic acid testing

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