The research activities in the Scientific Support Services lab can be divided into two general categories: 1) patient related projects and 2) clinical studies. The projects are described below.

Patient Related Research

  1. A Genome-wide Screen for Major Allo-immune susceptibility Loci in SCD

The susceptibility of certain individuals to form multiple antibodies to transfused donor blood is well recognized and is especially problematic in multiply transfused patients such as those with Sickle Cell Disease. At times it may become impossible to find compatible blood products. The cause of this is largely unknown, so Dr. Joann Moulds is participating in a collaborative study designed to evaluate major genes that influence the development of alloimmunity in a group of transfusion dependent sickle cell patients. Analysis of these candidate genes is being performed in collaboration with Dr. Alice Chen (St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston, TX) and Dr. Neil Hanchard (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX).

2. Stealth Erythrocytes; From Bench to Bedside

The transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) remains the most common and best tolerated form of tissue transplantation. However, there is an increased risk for antibody formation in patients requiring multiple transfusions, eg. sickle cell disease. Currently, no satisfactory solutions exist to either prevent blood group alloimmunization or to cost-effectively treat patients with severe alloimmunization. Dr. Ghislain Noumsi is working with Dr. Mark Scott at the Canadian Blood Services (Vancouver) on the effect of immunocamouflaging RBCs used for transfusion. Alloantibody binding to antigen mis-matched donors cells will be assessed by flow-cytometry in the labs of Dr. Donald Branch (University of Toronto). Phagocytic recognition of alloantibody opsonized donor RBCs will be used to predict in vivo survival. Dr. Noumsi has trained several of the Canadian investigators in the monocyte-monolayer assay (MMA) and will identify and supply additional antibodies for testing. These data will be used to generate a “predictive map” for the stealth RBCs.

Clinic Research

  1. Ms. Katrina Billingsley coordinates the clinical research trials. These are field studies used for the development of commercial tests. Since they also meet the federal definition of human research, they are first approved by an Institutional Review Board. LifeShare has been chosen as a study site by companies such as Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Grifols and BioArray Solutions because of their expertise in both serological and molecular methods as well as their unique patient and donor populations.

Recent Publications

Three novel alleles in the Kell blood group system resulting in the Knull phenotype and the first in a Native American. Moulds JM, Persa R, Rierson D, Billingsley KL, Noumsi GT, Hue-Roye K, Reid ME. Transfusion. 2013 Apr 15. doi: 10.1111/trf.12205.

D category IV: a group of clinically relevant and phylogenetically diverse partial D. von Zabern I, Wagner FF, Moulds JM, Moulds JJ, Flegel WA. Transfusion. 2013 Mar 5. doi: 10.1111/trf.12145.

Circulating immune complex levels are associated with disease severity and seasonality in children with malaria from Mali. Thomas BN, Diallo DA, Noumsi GT, Moulds JM. Biomark Insights. 2012;7:81-6. doi:10.4137/BMI.S9624.

Horn T, Castilho L, Moulds JM, Billingsley K, Vege S, Johnson N, Westhoff CM. A novel JK*A allele, nt561C>A, silencing Kidd expression: prevalence in Blacks. Transfusion 2012 May;52(5):1092-6.

New RHCE variant alleles encoding the D – – phenotype. Ochoa-Garay G, Moulds JM, Cote J, Kresie L, Garaizar A, Goldman M, Wynn P. Transfusion 2013 (submitted).

Clinical significance of red cell antibodies and secondary crossmatch using monocyte monolayer assay (MMA). Noumsi GT, Billingsley K, Moulds JM. Transfusion 2013 (submitted).