Set-up and routine use of a database of 10 555 genotyped blood donors to facilitate the screening of compatible blood components for alloimmunized patients


: Maryse St-Louis, Research and Development, Héma-Québec, 1070, Avenue des Sciences-de-la-Vie, Quebec, Canada, G1V 5C3 E-mail:


Background and Objectives  Large-scale genotyping of blood donors for red blood cell and platelet antigens has been predicted to replace phenotyping assays in the screening of compatible blood components for alloimmunized patients. Although several genotyping platforms have been described, novel procedures and processes are needed to perform genotyping efficiently and to maximize its benefits for blood banks.

Materials and Methods  Here we describe the processes and procedures developed to introduce large-scale genotyping in our routine operations.

Results  Preliminary cost–benefit analysis indicated that genotyping must target frequent blood donors (> 3 donations/year) to be efficiently used. A custom-designed computer application was developed to manage the whole project. It selects frequent donors among recent donations, prints coded labels to identify blood samples sent to the external genotyping laboratory, and stores genotyping results. It can search for donors compatible for any combination of the 22 genotyped antigens as well as consult the current inventory for the presence of the corresponding blood components. The phenotype of recovered components is confirmed by standard serology techniques prior to shipment to hospitals.

Conclusion  Since October 2007, 10 555 blood donors have been genotyped. The database is used on a regular basis to find compatible blood components with a genotype–phenotype concordance of 99·6%.