Hemolytic reactions (HTRs) can occur from ABO-incompatible platelet transfusions. After a series of cases at our institution, a procedure to screen all plateletpheresis donors for high-titer ABO antibodies was implemented.
Study design and methods
Plasma samples from plateletpheresis donors were screened using pooled 0.8% A1 and 0.8% B RBC in buffered gel. Dilutions of 1 in 150, 1 in 200, and 1 in 250 were sequentially evaluated. A component testing positive for high-titer ABO antibodies is restricted to ABO-identical or group O recipients, or washed.
At the initial dilution of 1 in 150, half of group O components were labeled as high-titer. At the current dilution of 1 in 250, 25% of group O components are labeled as high-titer. No platelet-associated HTR has been reported since screening began.
Universal screening for high-titer ABO antibodies in plateletpheresis donors can be implemented efficiently to reduce the risk of HTRs. The cutoff for classifying a unit as high-titer depends on the serologic method used, and may be customized by the individual facility. Our screening method uses one gel test per donation regardless of blood group, and a plasma dilution of 1 in 250 with pooled A1/B RBCs in buffered gel.
The DARC (Duffy blood group, chemokine receptor) gene encodes for a transmembrane glycoprotein that functions as a chemokine transporter, is a receptor for Plasmodium vivax and knowlesi, and expresses the Duffy blood group antigens (Fy). The Fy(a−b−) phenotype found in people of African descent is typically associated with a −67t>c mutation in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR), which prevents red blood cells being invaded by Plasmodium vivax and knowlesi. The aim of this study was to establish DARC allele frequencies in an African American blood donor cohort, determine a phylogenetic tree for DARC, and compare human and Neandertal DARC genes.
The DARC nucleotide sequence of 54 African American blood donors was determined from genomic DNA. Heterozygous substitutions were resolved by sequencing of haplotype specific amplifications. A phylogenetic tree for DARC was established using the neighbor-joining method with Pan troglodytes as root.
108 haplotypes of the DARC gene could be unambiguously determined from nucleotide position −300 in the 5′ UTR to +300 in the 3′ UTR. 11 different alleles were found, including the clinically relevant FY*A, FY*B, FY*B-67C, FY*B298A, and FY*X alleles. All phenotype predictions based on genotypes matched exactly the serologically determined phenotypes: 52% Fy(a−b−), 28% Fy(a−b+), and 20% Fy(a+b−).
The nucleotide sequencing approach using one amplicon is a practical genotyping method for DARC and allows the determination of haplotypes even in heterozygous constellations. We developed a phylogenetic tree for DARC alleles and postulated a distinct FY*B allele as ancestral for the extant DARC alleles in humans.
The human neutrophil antigen-3 (HNA-3) epitopes reside on the choline transporter-like protein-2 (CTL2). A single-nucleotide substitution (461G>A; Arg154Gln) on the CTL2 gene (SLC44A2) defines the allele SLC44A2*1, which expresses HNA-3a, and SLC44A2*2, which expresses HNA-3b; an additional substitution (457C>T; Leu153Phe) in SLC44A2*1:2 may impact genotyping systems. People who only express HNA-3b may develop anti-HNA-3a. These alloantibodies have been linked to severe transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), which may be a reason to screen blood donors for SLC44A2*2 homozygosity. For Caucasian and Asian populations, SLC44A2 allele frequencies are known. Our primary objective was to determine the SLC44A2 allele frequencies in the African American population.
Study design and methods
Purified DNA from 334 individuals (202 male, 132 female; 241 African American, 93 Caucasian) was collected. Two real-time PCR assays were developed to genotype all samples; results were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing.
In 241 African American donors, the allele frequency of SLC44A2*1 was 93% (85% to <100%; 95% confidence intervals, Poisson distribution) while SLC44A2*2 was 7% (5% to 10%). In 93 Caucasian donors, the allele frequencies of SLC44A2*1 was 83% (71% to 98%) and SLC44A2*2 was 17% (11% to 24%), matching previously reported data for Caucasians but differing from African Americans (p<0.001, Fisher’s exact test).
This study describes the allele frequencies of the 3 known HNA-3 variants in an African American population. We found that African Americans have a significantly lower probability of possessing the SLC44A2*2 allele, and may thus be less likely to form the clinically relevant anti-HNA-3a.
Red blood cell (RBC) preservation is essential to transfusion medicine. Many blood group reference laboratories need a method to preserve rare blood samples for serologic testing at a later date. This study offers a comparison of three common cryoprotective agents and protocols used today: bulk preservation with glycerol and droplet freezing with sucrose/dextrose (S+D) or polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP).
Study design and methods
Human blood from 14 volunteers was collected and frozen at set intervals over two weeks with PVP, S+D, or glycerol. The frozen RBCs were later thawed and the percentage of surviving RBCs was determined. Detailed protocols and an instructional video are supplied.
Over a two week period, RBCs preserved with glycerol and thawed with a widely used protocol showed a recovery of 41 ± 16 % (mean ± standard deviation) while those thawed with a modified glycerol protocol showed a recovery of 76 ± 8 %. RBCs preserved by droplet freezing with S+D showed a recovery of 56 ± 11 % while those preserved by droplet freezing with PVP showed a recovery of 85 ± 6 %. Recovery values were similar with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) or heparin anticoagulants, differing freezing rates, and varying droplet volumes.
Droplet freezing with PVP offered the greatest recovery. While bulk freezing with glycerol can be effective too, droplet freezing may be a more convenient method overall. It requires less effort to thaw, needs much less storage room, and allows blood group laboratories to be frugal with thawing rare samples.
Specialists in Blood Bank (SBB) Technology play important roles in blood banks, transfusion services, regulatory agencies, educational institutions and other facilities where expertise in blood banking, transfusion medicine, cellular therapy, and tissue transplantation is required.
Review of pathways that qualify applicants for a national examination administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to become a certified specialist and outcomes of accredited programs. Description of a face-to-face, accredited program including review of management topics included in curriculum.
The first examination was administered in 1954. As of December 2009, the total number certified SBBs was 5,124. There are currently 16 accredited SBB programs in the United States. The programs vary in mode of delivery, length of program, number of students accepted and organization of program officials and faculty but all must follow specific standards and guidelines in order to be accredited.
Students who successfully complete SBB programs have a higher passing rate than those who attempt the certification examination and have not participated in a program. Students can choose among a variety of programs that differ widely in the way they are managed. The role of management in an SBB program ranges from attracting and retaining individuals, to maintaining an accredited program to finally graduating individuals who not only pass the certification examination but who also confidently contribute to the field.
Incompatible blood group antigens are highly immunogenic and can cause graft rejections. Focusing on distinct carbohydrate- and protein-based membrane structures, defined by blood group antigens, we investigated human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) cultured in human serum. The presence of H (CD173), ABO, RhD, RhCE, RhAG, Kell, urea transporter type B (SLC14A1, previously known as JK), and Duffy antigen receptor of chemokines (DARC) was evaluated at the levels of genome, transcriptome and antigen. Fucosyltransferase-1 (FUT1), RHCE, KEL, SLC14A1 (JK) and DARC mRNA were transcribed in MSCs. FUT1 mRNA transcription was lost during differentiation. The mRNA transcription of SLC14A1 (JK) decreased during chondrogenic differentiation, while that of DARC increased during adipogenic differentiation. All MSCs synthesized SLC14A1 (JK) but no DARC protein. However, none of the protein antigens tested occurred on the surface, indicating a lack of associated protein function in the membrane. As A and B antigens are neither expressed nor adsorbed, concerns of ABO compatibility with human serum supplements during culture are alleviated. The H antigen expression by GD2dim+ MSCs identified two distinct MSC subpopulations and enabled their isolation. We hypothesize that GD2dim+H+ MSCs retain a better “stemness”. Because immunogenic blood group antigens are lacking, they cannot affect MSC engraftment in vivo, which is promising for clinical applications.
stem cell transplantation; mesenchymal cells; blood groups; H antigen; CD173
Rhesus is the clinically most important protein-based blood group system. It represents the largest number of antigens and the most complex genetics of the 30 known blood group systems. The RHD and RHCE genes are strongly homologous. Some genetic complexity is explained by their close chromosomal proximity and unusual orientation, with their tail ends facing each other. The antigens are expressed by the RhD and the RhCE proteins. Rhesus exemplifies the correlation of genotype and phenotype, facilitating the understanding of general genetic mechanisms. For clinical purposes, genetic diagnostics of Rhesus antigens will improve the cost-effective development of transfusion medicine.
Rhesus; blood group; molecular genetics; molecular diagnostic; transfusion
Codon usage in genomes is biased towards specific subsets of codons. Codon usage bias affects translational speed and accuracy, and it is associated with the tRNA levels and the GC content of the genome. Spontaneous mutations drive genomes to a low GC content. Active cellular processes are needed to maintain a high GC content, which influences the codon usage of a species. Loss-of-function mutations, such as nonsense mutations, are the molecular basis of many recessive alleles, which can greatly affect the genome of an organism and are the cause of many genetic diseases in humans.
We developed an event based model to calculate the risk of acquiring nonsense mutations in coding sequences. Complete coding sequences and genomes of 40 eukaryotes were analyzed for GC and CpG content, codon usage, and the associated risk of acquiring nonsense mutations. We included one species per genus for all eukaryotes with available reference sequence.
We discovered that the codon usage bias detected in genomes of high GC content decreases the risk of acquiring nonsense mutations (Pearson's r = -0.95; P < 0.0001). In the genomes of all examined vertebrates, including humans, this risk was lower than expected (0.93 ± 0.02; mean ± SD) and lower than the risk in genomes of non-vertebrates (1.02 ± 0.13; P = 0.019).
While the maintenance of a high GC content is energetically costly, it is associated with a codon usage bias harboring a low risk of acquiring nonsense mutations. The reduced exposure to this risk may contribute to the fitness of vertebrates.
The Bloodgen project was funded by the European Commission between 2003 and 2006, and involved academic blood centres, universities, and Progenika Biopharma S.A., a commercial supplier of genotyping platforms that incorporate glass arrays. The project has led to the development of a commercially available product, BLOODchip, that can be used to comprehensively genotype an individual for all clinically significant blood groups. The intention of making this system available is that blood services and perhaps even hospital blood banks would be able to obtain extended information concerning the blood group of routine blood donors and vulnerable patient groups. This may be of significant use in the current management of multi-transfused patients who become alloimmunised due to incomplete matching of blood groups. In the future it can be envisaged that better matching of donor-patient blood could be achieved by comprehensive genotyping of every blood donor, especially regular ones. This situation could even be extended to genotyping every individual at birth, which may prove to have significant long-term health economic benefits as it may be coupled with detection of inborn errors of metabolism.
BLOODchip; Blood groups; Blood group antigens
Rhesus; blood group; molecular diagnostic; transfusion; pregnancy
Aberrant and non-functional RHD alleles are much more frequent in Africans than in Europeans. The DAU cluster of RHD alleles exemplifies that the alleles frequent in Africans have evaded recognition until recently. A comprehensive survey of RHD alleles in any African population was lacking.
We surveyed the molecular structure and frequency of RHD alleles in Mali (West Africa) by evaluating 116 haplotypes. Only 69% could be attributed to standard RHD (55%) or the RHD deletion (14%). The aberrant RHD allele DAU-0 was predicted for 19%, RHDΨ for 7% and Ccdes for 4% of all haplotypes. DAU-3 and the new RHD allele RHD(L207F), dubbed DMA, were found in one haplotype each. A PCR-RFLP for the detection of the hybrid Rhesus box diagnostic for the RHD deletion in Europeans was false positive in 9 individuals, including all carriers of RHDΨ . Including two silent mutations and the RHD deletion, a total of 9 alleles could be differentiated.
Besides standard RHD and the RHD deletion, DAU-0, RHDΨ and Ccdes are major alleles in Mali. Our survey proved that the most frequent alleles of West Africans have been recognized allowing to devise reliable genotyping and phenotyping strategies.
Rhesus; Rh; partial D antigen; red cell antigen; RHD gene; genotyping
Blood group genotyping is increasingly utilized for prenatal diagnosis and after recent transfusions, but still lacks the specificity of serology. In whites, the presence of antigen D is predicted, if two or more properly selected RHD-specific polymorphism are detected. This prediction must fail, if an antigen D negative RHD positive allele is encountered. Excluding RHDψ and CdeS frequent only in individuals of African descent, most of these alleles are unknown and the population frequency of any such allele has not been determined.
We screened 8,442 antigen D negative blood donations by RHD PCR-SSP. RHD PCR positive samples were further characterized by RHD exon specific PCR-SSP or sequencing. The phenotype of the identified alleles was checked and their frequencies in Germans were determined.
We detected 50 RHD positive samples. Fifteen samples harbored one of three new Del alleles. Thirty samples were due to 14 different D negative alleles, only 5 of which were previously known. Nine of the 14 alleles may have been generated by gene conversion in cis, for which we proposed a mechanism triggered by hairpin formation of chromosomal DNA. The cumulative population frequency of the 14 D negative alleles was 1:1,500. Five samples represented a D+/- chimera, a weak D and three partial D, which had been missed by routine serology; two recipients transfused with blood of the D+/- chimera donor became anti-D immunized.
The results of this study allowed to devise an improved RHD genotyping strategy, the false-positive rate of which was lower than 1:10,000. The number of characterized RHD positive antigen D negative and Del alleles was more than doubled and their population frequencies in Europe were defined.