WCBS Introduces Universal Immunoglobulin Gamma (IgG) Screening For All Blood Donors

The safety of WCBS blood products is improving by the introduction of universal IgG screening of all donors, and using only IgG negative blood for transfusion purposes and plasma fractionation for the manufacture of plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP) by the National Bioproducts Institute (NBI). Previously only new donors and antenatal samples were tested.

This strategy will result in the decrease of transfer of alloantibodies in plasma containing products making it easier for Blood Banks to find suitably matched blood, which is particularly important in multiply transfused patients. A reduction in the incidence of alloimmunisation and potential extravascular haemolytic transfusion reactions is also expected.

Donors are screened once and as required, subsequent to a blood transfusion or pregnancy.

The Red Cell Serology Laboratory performs the IgG screen (comprising 23 antigens) using erythrocyte magnetised technology (EMT). Compared to microtiter plate testing, EMT detects significant antibodies at a higher rate. First line IgG screening uses a pool test and reactive samples undergo a second line IgG screen or are sent directly to the Immunohaematology Laboratory for antibody identification.

We hope that the implementation of the universal IgG screen will ultimately improve transfusion outcomes for patients.

For more information about universal IgG antibody screening, contact Sandra Valensky, Manager – Red Cell Serology and Haematology (sandyv@wcbs.org.za).


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