Kit for Unexpected Antibodies Screening

The kit is instrumental in prenatal testing in pregnant women.The kit is instrumental in prenatal testing in pregnant women.

Specialists at the Iran Blood Transfusion Organization have produced a specialized kit for screening and identification of unexpected red cell antibodies.

The kit was developed using rare blood types collected though the national rare blood group program executed by the organization.

“Japan was the only producer of such kits across Asia using its local blood samples,” said Mostafa Moqaddam, the head of IBTO’s Immunohematology Laboratory, ISNA reported.

“It was previously imported from Germany and Switzerland, but that came to a halt under the international economic sanctions.”

Noting that the production of the kits would be increased at one-year and five-year intervals, he said the IBTO currently has the capacity to produce 160 kits on a monthly basis, which would surpass 1,000 kits by the end of the current Iranian year in March 2017.

Red blood cells carry numerous protein and carbohydrate antigens on their surface. There are over 600 antigens, which are separated into 30 blood group systems. The presence or absence of these antigens in an individual is important, because they determine the type of blood that should be given in case a blood transfusion is necessary.

If a person is exposed to blood with different antigens than his or her own, he or she may form antibodies that can result in extravascular and/or intravascular rupture or destruction when the recipient is reintroduced to the same antigens in a future transfusion.

Naturally occurring anti-A and anti-B are the only RBC antibodies in normal human serum or plasma. All others are unexpected. The antibody screening tests are performed in a clinical laboratory designed to detect the presence of unexpected antibodies.

 Vital Application

The antibody screening test, as part of pre-transfusion compatibility testing along with the type and crossmatching, prevents transfusion reactions from occurring.

The kit is instrumental in prenatal testing in pregnant women and their babies, and priority will be given for this purpose.

“To cover the entire target population (pregnant women across the country), a total of 1300-1500 kits are needed per month, since women must get tested sometime within 12-24 weeks of pregnancy,” said Moqaddam.

The IBTO has expressed readiness to produce the required number provided the Health Ministry mandates their use in every single pregnancy, he added.

The local product will be economically feasible because the kits expire within 28 days of production and the domestic version would cost much less than the foreign equivalents.

The kit examines the sensitivity of the immune system in patients with a history of blood transfusion, pregnancy or cancer patients, facilitating and accelerating timely treatment.

The Vice Presidency for Science and Technology supports the project, and has set up an office for stem cell research to boost pertinent technologies in the field.

The kit is produced under the brand name ‘Biovista’.