BACKGROUND: To avoid anaphylactic reactions, immunoglobulin (Ig)A-deficient patients with anti-IgA should be transfused with IgA-deficient blood components. There is a need for fast and robust assays for demonstration of IgA deficiency and for detection of anti-IgA.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Recombinant human IgA1 and IgA2 anti-D molecules were constructed, expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, and purified. These antibodies were used to sensitize group O D+ red blood cells (RBCs) for use as indicator cells, either in the format of a passive hemagglutination inhibition assay for detection of IgA deficiency or in a passive hemagglutination assay for detection of anti-IgA. Both assays were performed in gel card.
RESULTS: The sensitivity for IgA detection was adjusted to approximately 100 ng per mL. The assay for demonstration of IgA deficiency correlated with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for quantification of IgA. Anti-IgA were easily detected, and the reactivity with IgA anti-D-sensitized RBCs could be inhibited by purified IgA1 and/or IgA2 and by normal plasma containing IgA but not by IgA-deficient plasma. Anti-IgA was found in 64 percent of IgA-deficient donors with less than 3 ng of IgA per mL.
CONCLUSION: The assays for detection of IgA and anti-IgA described in this article are fast and robust. Furthermore, they are applicable in all standard blood typing laboratories and are therefore well suited for immediate investigation of transfusion reactions.