Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK succeeded in changing the blood groups of three donor kidneys, an advance that could increase the supply of kidneys available for transplant, Particularly in minority ethnic groups who are mostly less likely to be a match for donated kidneys.
For the process, he used a Normothermic Perfusion Machine which is a device that is attached to the human kidney to draw oxygenated blood through the organ to better preserve it for future use., Through that machine he infused an enzyme-laden blood through the dead kidney. The process was carried out by Professor Mike Nicholson and doctoral student Serena McMillan.
The enzymes acted like “molecular scissors” to remove the blood type markers that line the kidney’s blood vessels, turning the organ into the more common type O. that is, The enzyme removes the blood type markers that line the blood vessels of the kidneys, effectively changing your blood type to type O. The procedure takes a few hours when successfully performed on three donor kidneys.
Kidney transplantation is one of the kidney function replacement treatments. It is indicated in cases of patients suffering from terminal (irreversible) chronic renal failure. They can get a kidney from a deceased donor or a related living donor.
nowadays, The kidney of a person with blood group A cannot be transplanted to another person with blood group B and vice versa. But changing the blood type to universal O – such as that being developed by Cambridge researchers – would allow more transplants to be performed. Because Universal Type O can be used for people of any blood group.
Following the results of the research, McMillan said: “Our confidence was really heightened soon after the enzyme was applied to a piece of human kidney tissue and the antigen was removed. Back then, we knew the process was possible and We had to move the project forward to apply the enzyme to a full-sized human kidney.”
Taking a human type B kidney and using our normothermic perfusion machine to pump enzymes through the organ“We saw that within a few hours we had converted a type B kidney to a type O one,” he explained. “It’s so exciting to think about how this could potentially affect so many lives,” he acknowledged.
Experts say people from minority ethnic groups typically wait a year longer for a transplant than white patients, so the study may have special implications for them., People from minority communities are more likely to have type B blood and do not have enough kidneys due to the low donation rate of these populations.
In 2020 and 2021, more than 9% of all UK organ donations came from black and minority ethnic donors. But black and minority ethnic patients make up 33 percent of those on the waiting list for kidney transplants. Now researchers need to see how the newly switched type O kidney will react with the normal blood type in the patient’s normal blood supply.
The machine allows them to do this before testing people, because they can take kidneys that have been converted to type O, and put in different blood types to control kidney response.
Research leader Mike Nicholson commented: “The biggest restriction on who can transplant a donated kidney is that it has to be blood group compatible. This is because there are antigens and markers on your cells that can be A or B. Your body naturally produces antibodies against those you don’t have. Blood group classification is also determined by ethnicity, and minority ethnic groups are more likely to have the rare type B.”
whereas, Dr. Isling McMahon, executive director of research at Kidney Research UK, supported the preliminary results. Research “could change the game”. After testing the reproducibility of other blood types, the team will study how the method can be used in a clinical setting. The research, funded by the charity Kidney Research UK, will be published in British Journal of Surgery in the coming months.
In june In the past, a worldwide epidemiological study was published on the status of kidney transplants. Data was collected from 155 countries. Kidney transplants were available in 74% of these countries, with an average of 14 per million residents. Transplant accessibility varied greatly; Even in high-income countries, it was disproportionately low for ethnic minorities.
Universal health coverage of all transplant treatment costs was available in 31% of countries, and 57% had a transplant registry. The research was published in the journal Transplantation.