Brief Introduction to Histocompatibility Testing Methods

The objective of histocompatibility testing is to predict humoral alloimmune potential in transplant recipients. The success of the histocompatibility testing mostly relies on accurate donor typing and specific testing for antibodies to human leukocyte antigen. Technically, the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region is the most polymorphic in the human genome, which encodes hundreds of genes. This protein is responsible for the regulation of the immune system in humans.

Today, histocompatibility testing methods are widespread in areas of typing, crossmatching, and antibody screening. In getting the HLA, which are found in large amounts on the surface of white blood cells, to match accurately perfect, it will allow for safer marrow transplants, which is what specialists are aiming for. To perform this test, blood has to be drawn from a vein.

The need for histocompatibility arises from the issue of organ rejection, during transplantation. Basically, an animal can comfortably accept an organ transplant from itself, but not from any other animal, whether or not they are of the same species. When the histocompatibility antigens present on the transplanted cells are not compatible with the immune system of the recipient, then the organ rejection happens. Because of such reasons, human beings undergoing grafting of parts of their body also experience graft rejection.

Histocompatibility test methods are widely used in the characterization of disease states and right before initiation of some drug therapy such as abacavir. Evidently, the histocompatibility testing methods are very significant in the transplantation processes, and that includes solid organs, stem cells, and bone marrows.

In this field of study, there is a lot to learn on the molecular details of human and animal gene products, along with the organization of human leukocyte antigen. When a transplant recipient has to go through screening for their antibodies, the presence of antibodies to HLA antigens in the serum of a waiting organ transplant recipient is usually done by complement-dependent lymph cytotoxicity. Ideally, if the blood of a waiting recipient contains antibodies against the donor HLA antigens, the HLA antigens on the donor cells will be attacked by the recipient’s antibodies, upon transplantation. Therefore, the whole point of histocompatibility testing methods is to increase the success rates of transplantations.

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