About the book
One of the greatest challenges of blood transfusion worldwide is accessibility to safe and adequate supplies of blood and blood products. Blood group systems are associated with antigens expressed on the red cell membrane, human tissues and organs. Their specificity is often determined by a single gene locus or by two or more very closely linked homologous genes located on the chromosome. The aim of red cell transfusion and solid organ transplant is to ensure the optimum survival of the introduced donor allograft. Apart from the ABO and Rhesus blood group system, the International Society of Blood Transfusion has recognized another 33 blood group systems. Blood grouping and cross-matching is one of the ways to ensure the survival of donors red cells in the recipient. A full understanding of the human blood group systems, their clinical significance, their link to diseases, blood typing, alloantibody investigation and cross-matching is critical in order to prevent transfusion reactions and organ rejection. To facilitate access to safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products globally, there is need to critically look at a number of options aimed at genetic and antigenic modulation of human red cells to prevent the immune system from recognizing and mounting an immune response that often result in haemolytic transfusion reaction and alloimmunization. Such strategies include; the enzymatic conversion of specific blood group antigens such as the enzyme converted group O-RBC (ECO-RBC) concept, the potential masking of red cell antigens by treating human red cells with polyethylene glycol (the stealth RBC concept) and the in vitro mass production of red cells in culture media using genetically manipulated and modified stem cells for the production of blood that can potentially be used as universal donor units. The aim of this book is to look at the diversity and clinical relevance of the human blood group systems and identify ways to ensure the safe, adequate supply and optimum survival of allografts (red cells and organs) in recipients.