The blood type of the donor's kidneys has been successfully changed by scientists in order to boost the quantity of organs available for transplant.
Researchers highlighted the ramifications of the discovery, saying it will be especially helpful for minority groups since they have a tougher time finding a match. Black and other ethnic minority groups frequently have to wait a year longer than white patients because they are more likely to have the uncommon B-type blood group. Black and other minority ethnic donors made for just over 9% of all organ donors in 2020–2021. For an organ transplant to be effective, the recipient and donor must share the same blood type.
Researchers altered the blood type to the universal O because it can be used for persons of any blood type, enabling more transplants to be performed.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge employed a normothermic perfusion equipment that links with a human kidney to flush blood loaded with an enzyme through the deceased donor’s kidney, ensuring that oxygenated blood travels through the organ to better preserve it for future use.
The enzyme eliminates the blood-type markers that line the organ’s blood arteries, effectively converting its blood type to type O.
”Our confidence was really boosted after we applied the enzyme to a piece of human kidney tissue and saw very quickly that the antigens were removed,” said Serena MacMillan, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge.
The researchers will test the reintroduction of different blood types before considering how the strategy may be applied in a clinical context.