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Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces Array-Based Solution for Extended Blood Type Research

Five blood bags.
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., introduced the Applied Biosystems™ Axiom™ BloodGenomiX™ Array* and Software, a first-of-its-kind solution for more precise blood genotyping in clinical research. The new array detects most extended and rare blood groups, tissue (HLA) and platelet (HPA) types in a single, high-throughput assay, supporting future advancements in donor blood matching for extended phenotypes. 


Blood typing is a critical medical service used to match blood and tissue types ahead of transfusions and transplants. When an individual receives incompatible blood, they can form antibodies that can increase the risk of a severe, even life-threatening, reaction to future transfusions. This risk increases significantly for people who receive frequent transfusions, such as patients undergoing chemotherapy and people with inherited blood disorders such as sickle cell disorder. While testing for the four main blood types (A, B, AB, and O) and determining if the blood is Rh positive or negative is common practice, there are many more blood group systems, including some extremely rare blood types. Therefore, research is critical to bring extended blood typing into strategies to mitigate potential risks of hemolytic transfusion reactions in the future. 

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“Adoption of DNA-based blood typing will pave the way for large-scale genomics research and the future establishment of international standards to improve the safety and efficacy of blood transfusion for millions of patients,” said Willem H Ouwehand, Blood transfusion Genomics Consortium chair and Professor of Experimental Haematology at the University of Cambridge and NHS Blood and Transplant in England. 


The Axiom BloodGenomiX Array covers more than 40 genes and 260 antigens across 38 blood group systems, in addition to HLA and HPA types. It was developed in collaboration with the Blood transfusion Genomics Consortium (BGC), an international partnership of blood services, research institutions and industry leaders that aims to improve the safety and efficacy of blood and platelet transfusion. In a validation study using 14,000 diverse DNA samples from the national blood services of Australia, Canada, England, Finland, the Netherlands, South Africa and the New York Blood Center, the array showed a high level of concordance (99.89%) with participants’ blood group antigen types.  


“The Blood transfusion Genomics Consortium’s goal is to develop an affordable, scalable blood typing solution that can one day be embedded in accredited labs globally,” said Dr. Connie Westhoff, BGC deputy chair and representing the National Center for Blood Group Genomics at the New York Blood Center. “Our vision is to one day make comprehensive blood typing for all donor and patient blood the standard of care.”  


For a complete workflow, the BloodGenomiX Array can be coupled with Applied Biosystems™ BloodGenomiX Reporter Software and the Applied Biosystems GeneTitan MC Instrument, helping to alleviate pain points with automated analysis, reporting and quality control. The workflow requires minimal hands-on time and can be run by existing lab staff. 


“The Axiom BloodGenomiX Array and Software provide a cost-effective, high-throughput solution for extended blood typing research,” said Kevin Lowitz, vice president and general manager, microarray solutions at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “In the future, having access to a scalable, array-based blood typing solution may help blood services effectively screen extended blood types for more precise blood matching.”