Automation in the bloodbank: things to think about.

Prevention of immune-mediated transfusion-related acute lung injury; from bloodbank to patient.

Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is the leading cause of transfusion related morbidity and mortality. Immune-mediated TRALI is caused by leucocyte and neutrophil antibodies in the transfused blood products that react with white blood cell antigens of the recipient, hereby inducing endothelial damage and lung injury. About two thirds of TRALI cases are thought to be immune-mediated. Both Human Leucocyte Antibodies (HLA Class I and II) and Human Neutrophil Antibodies (HNA) are involved in TRALI. Most antibodies result from allo-exposure of the blood donor, with multiparous donors having the highest incidence of antibodies. Detection of anti-leucocyte and anti-neutrophil antibodies is complex and many uncertainties still exist regarding the interpretation of the test results. In this review we discuss the evidence and effectiveness of measurements to prevent immune-mediated TRALI from a bloodbank and bedside perspective. From a bloodbank perspective various preventive measures have been implicated. In some countries bloodbanks have successfully implemented donor selection strategies, ranging from testing of allo-exposed donors for leucocyte antibodies to the exclusion of all females from donating high plasma volume products. Another strategy involves dilution of antibodies present by pooling of plasma donations of multiple donors. From a bedside view, the most important measure to prevent TRALI is to limit patients’ exposure to allogenic bloodproducts. Furthermore recognition and awareness of the syndrome need to be heightened among clinicians.

Variants in neuropeptide Y receptor 1 and 5 are associated with nutrient-specific food intake and are under recent selection in Europeans.

There is a large variation in caloric intake and macronutrient preference between individuals and between ethnic groups, and these food intake patterns show a strong heritability. The transition to new food sources during the agriculture revolution around 11,000 years ago probably created selective pressure and shaped the genome of modern humans. One major player in energy homeostasis is the appetite-stimulating hormone neuropeptide Y, in which the stimulatory capacity may be mediated by the neuropeptide Y receptors 1, 2 and 5 (NPY1R, NPY2R and NPY5R). We assess association between variants in the NPY1R, NPY2R and NPY5R genes and nutrient intake in a cross-sectional, single-center study of 400 men aged 40 to 80 years, and we examine whether genomic regions containing these genes show signatures of recent selection in 270 HapMap individuals (90 Africans, 90 Asians, and 90 Caucasians) and in 846 Dutch bloodbank controls. Our results show that derived alleles in NPY1R and NPY5R are associated with lower carbohydrate intake, mainly because of a lower consumption of mono- and disaccharides. We also show that carriers of these derived alleles, on average, consume meals with a lower glycemic index and glycemic load and have higher alcohol consumption. One of these variants shows the hallmark of recent selection in Europe. Our data suggest that lower carbohydrate intake, consuming meals with a low glycemic index and glycemic load, and/or higher alcohol consumption, gave a survival advantage in Europeans since the agricultural revolution. This advantage could lie in overall health benefits, because lower carbohydrate intake, consuming meals with a low GI and GL, and/or higher alcohol consumption, are known to be associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases.
[Tranfusion counseling].

In this article, we present transfusion counseling; its organization, actors, their formations and we deal with factual positions. Transfusion counseling needs better identification, tending to a homogeneous organization between every bloodbank centre.

Genomics and blood substitutes for 21st century Europe (“EuroBloodSubstitutes”).

Blood transfusion is a medical intervention practised throughout the world. Blood is a biologically active material that can transmit diseases (e.g., HIV/AIDS and, perhaps, vCJD). People are becoming increasingly concerned about blood safety, despite improved screening and processing. Consequently, they are reluctant to donate blood or receive transfusions. Such problems can be solved by the development and incorporation into transfusion practices of so-called “blood substitutes” to replace some blood uses. The EuroBloodSubstitutes Project is funded by the European Union Framework 6 Programme to develop a technological platform for producing novel haem proteins and blood substitute components using micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, yeast) as “cell factories.” The Project will focus on bacteria (Escherichia coli), yeast (Pichia pastoris) and, longer-term, filamentous fungi (Aspergillus niger), all organisms used to synthesize commercially important products. The multi-centre Consortium consists of the Universities of (1) Nottingham (UK), (2) Essex (UK), (3) Denmark Technical (Denmark), (4) Lund (Sweden), (5) Milan (Italy), (6) Nancy (France), (7) Parma (Italy), (8) Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy), (9) Semmelweis (Hungary), together with (10) Alligator Bioscience, AB (Sweden), (11) LCC Engineering & Trading GmbH (Switzerland), (12) Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (UK), and (13) Sanquin Bloodbank (The Netherlands). The EuroBloodSubstitutes Project will be informed by lay and professional stakeholders (e.g., clinicians, blood donors, patient groups, prescribers and policy makers). Outcomes of the Project are (1) the production of an information pack, decision aids and physician training aids, giving balanced overviews of the benefits and risks of transfusion of blood or potential substitutes, and (2) an interactive web site

(http// for information dissemination. This will improve knowledge and address misunderstandings about transfusion issues in a climate of changing patient expectations on blood safety and benefits of blood substitutes.

From anhydrobiosis to freeze-drying of eukaryotic cells.

Using what has been learned from nature, it has become possible to stabilize biological structures, including intact cells, in the dry state. Stabilization of cells or tissues in the dried state is of considerable practical significance, as is described in this review. The need for stabilization of cells in the dried state is particularly urgent in bloodbanks, where proper storage of blood cells (platelets and erythrocytes) is still a major problem. Human blood platelets are stored in blood banks for 5 days, after which they are discarded according to Federal regulation. This short lifetime has led to a chronic shortage of platelets. We report here that platelets can be preserved by freeze-drying them with trehalose, a sugar found at high concentrations in organisms that naturally survive drying. We suggest that this finding will obviate the storage problem with platelets and that the principles established here may be extended to more complex eukaryotic cells.
Universal leukoreduction in Iceland validation, process control and quality control. Implications for smaller bloodbanks.

Serological detection of attenuated HIV-1 variants with nef gene deletions.

To investigate whether members of a transfusion-linked cohort (the Sydney Bloodbank Cohort) infected with a nef-deleted strain of HIV-1 could be differentiated from individuals infected with wild-type strains of HIV-1 by characterizing the Nef antibody response of cohort members.