Translational development of a novel immunohematology technology for detection, specification and pre-analytical depletion of irregular and medicinal antibodies against red cell, platelet and neutrophil antigens

Institution: DRK-Blutspendedienst Baden-Württemberg-Hessen
Institut Frankfurt am Main und Institut für Transfusionsmedizin und Immunhämatologie
Fachbereich Medizin, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität Frankfurt
Applicant: Prof. Dr. Halvard Bönig
Funding line:
Translational Research

Project partner:

Dr. med. Erwin Andreas Scharberg
DRK-Blutspendedienst Baden-Württemberg-Hessen
Institut Baden-Baden

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Tamam Bakchoul
IKT Tübingen
Universität Tübingen

Dr. med. Torsten Schulze
DRK-Blutspendedienst NSTOB



To detect sensitization against one of the more than 400 blood group antigens and to avoid them during transfusion, primary red blood cells (RBCs) from well-characterized donors are currently used as antigen carrier and indicator („test cell“). Their agglutination identifies the presence of such an antibody in patient plasma. Analysis of the reaction pattern against a whole panel of test cells serves to assign the agglutination reaction to specific antigens. In most situations very efficient, the technology reaches its limit in a number of scenarios such as antibodies against non-erythrocytic antigens, high or low frequency antigens, non-polymorphic antigens or a combination of antigens. The fact that the representation of antigens on the test cells largely reflects the panel of antigens present in the donor population leaves significant gaps during testing of non-Caucasian patient samples. All these limitations are addressed by a test principle recently invented by us, the most salient part of which is the idea to use not primary RBCs as test cells but rather established non-human cell lines into which one or a small number of blood group antigens has been cloned and which can be propagated in continous culture. After successful proof-of-concept studies, at this stage industrially relevant applications for this technology will be developed that lead to increased patient benefit.

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