Robert Liwski, Anna Greenshields, Ian Grace, Calvino Cheng, Jason George Quinn

Development of multiplexed flow cytometry‐based red blood cell antibody screen and identification assays

  • Hematology
  • General Medicine

AbstractBackground and ObjectivesThe purpose of this study was to develop a high‐throughput method of performing red blood cell antibody screens and identification by utilizing flow cytometry and intracellular dyes to allow a multiplexed assay where three‐cell screens can be performed in a single test well and 11‐cell panels in three test wells.Materials and MethodsReagent red blood cells were labelled using Violet Proliferation Dye 450 (V450) and Oregon Green fluorescent dyes, which bind intracellular proteins to allow up to four cells to be interrogated in a single test well. Sixteen 3‐cell screen panels and ten 11‐cell identification panels were tested using sera with known antibody specificity. Antibody binding was detected using secondary anti‐immunoglobulin G and anti‐immunoglobulin M fluorescently labelled antibodies.ResultsIntracellular dyes allowed clear separation of the different screen and identification panel test cells. Three distinct populations of V450+, Oregon Green+ and negative for both stains were demonstrated in the screening panel and an additional double positive for V450 and Oregon Green was utilized to include a fourth cell in the identification panel testing to increase throughput. A total of 158 screen or identification panel RBC/serum combinations were tested against different known antibodies, and expected results were obtained with 100% concordance.ConclusionThis study demonstrates the successful development of a high‐throughput multiplexed flow cytometry‐based red cell antibody screen and identification panel assays. This method could be implemented in clinical laboratories to complement existing antibody detection methods. The multiplexing enabled via intracellular staining could be utilized to further augment other flow cytometry‐based transfusion assays.

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