Dr. Rania Abu Seir

Dr. Rania Abu Seir

Faculty Member- Hematology
Al-Quds University & INSERM – University of Paris

Department: Department of Medical Lab Sciences 

Faculty: Faculty of Health Professions

Specialization: Hematology

Host French partner: UMR_S1134 - Inserm – University of Paris

Host Department: Centre National de Référence pour les Groupes Sanguins

French Partner: Thierry Peyrard and Olivier Garraud 

Research Domain: Hematology and blood banking 

Research Project Title: Determination of Red Blood Cell Alloantibody Frequency and Major Blood Types among Palestinians

Research Project Purpose: Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is a lifesaving therapy for complications of anemia and treatment of the symptoms and signs of hypoxia. However, the risk of RBC alloimmunization is always a concern for patients receiving RBC transfusions. Hence, establishment of a database showing the features and frequency of allo-antibodies among Palestinians will greatly facilitate antibody screening and consequently allocating a matching donor. Definitive advantages of RBC phenotyping include identification of the RBC antigenic profile among regular repeat donors for the ease of availability of compatible blood for multiply transfused patients. In this study, we aim to determine the frequency and characteristics of RBC alloantibodies among the Palestinian population through Palestinian blood banks records and to study the major RBC-phenotypes among the Palestinian population.

Main outputs/results: ABO blood groups among Palestinians were A (39.5%), O (36.9%), B (17.1%), and AB (6.5%). The frequencies of Rh and Kell antigens were as follows: 87% Rh D positive, 16% E positive, 81.3% e positive, 50.1% C positive, 67.2% c positive, and 8.9% K positive. During the study period, RBC alloantibodies were detected in 1703 (9.7%) out of 17605 transfused patients. The most common Rh and Kell antibodies were against D (38.4%), followed by K (12.6%), E (10.6%), C (4.8%), and c (4.1%). Other commonly detected antibodies included Lea (4.1%) and Leb (4.3%). More than 80% of alloimmunized patients were females. In addition, some rare types of alloantibodies were detected in this study that need further investigations.

Expected future impact: This study is the first step towards establishing a comprehensive database which shows the frequency and nature of allo-antibodies, identify patients with alloimmunization to be flagged in the database to enable electronic selection of donor units that have been antigen-matched for recipients at multiple blood group loci and facilitate antibody screening and consequently allocating a matching donor. These patients should be given carry-on cards and could also benefit from being educated about the names of the identified antibodies.

Future Plan: Introduction of genotyping of Human Erythrocyte Antigens (HEA) among frequently transfused patients to reduce the risk of incompatible blood transfusion

Main Impact: The ease of availability of compatible blood for multiply transfused patients.