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Wed Feb 16, 2022, 03:04 PM

This Little Blood Type Trick Could Enable Universal Lung Transplants

Millions of people around the world are in need of a major organ transplant, but very few are likely to find a viable donor. Over 106,000 Americans await a new organ, and 17 people die each day as they wait for a transplant. This is especially true during COVID, where the disease has decimated the respiratory health of thousands and left their lungs ravaged. A growing number of people are in need of a lung transplant—but there are simply too few lungs to go around to save everyone.

One of the biggest hurdles to transplantation is also a deceptively simple one: matching blood type. This is especially true for the heart and lungs, which are more sensitive than other organs to mismatched blood type, said Dr. Alexander Krupnick, a lung transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

But new research out of Canada promises to solve this incompatibility obstacle by doing something quite extraordinary: converting the native blood type of an organ to a universal blood type.

In a new study published on Wednesday in Science Translation Medicine, Toronto researchers were able to take donated lungs and strip them of the antigens that identify them as blood type A, making the lungs appear as if they originated from an individual with blood type O donor—famously known as the universal donor blood type. (Though technically, O-negative is the true universal donor type.)

The research team behind the new paper achieved this breakthrough by flooding the donated blood type A lungs with two enzymes that can remove blood type A antigens from cells lining the organ’s blood vessels, where most of the troublesome blood type incompatibilities manifest. Within about four hours, the enzymes—called FpGalNac deacetylase and FpGalactosaminidase, and naturally produced by our bodies—removed more than 97 percent of type A antigens from the donated organs.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/blood-type-conversion-breakthrough-could-make-universal-lung-transplants-possible?ref=home

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Reply This Little Blood Type Trick Could Enable Universal Lung Transplants (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Feb 2022 OP
Chainfire Feb 2022 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2022 #2
3catwoman3 Feb 2022 #3
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2022 #4
Jilly_in_VA Feb 2022 #5
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2022 #6

Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Feb 16, 2022, 03:07 PM

1. That is pretty damn clever.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Feb 16, 2022, 03:24 PM

2. That sounds fantastic! I hope this will pan out, as many are waiting for transplants. n/t

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Feb 16, 2022, 03:59 PM

3. Potential major game changer.

This is exciting.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Feb 16, 2022, 04:35 PM

4. I'm already type O mysel. O positive, as it happens.

Although I'm on my driver license as an organ donor, I wonder how much can actually be harvested from someone already 73. I realize how a person dies is undoubtedly a factor, but I wonder how much sheer age, meaning wear and tear on the organs, matters.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 16, 2022, 05:13 PM

5. Technically

they probably couldn't use a whole lot more than your skin and possibly some tissue and bone (if in good condition) past about age 65, but like you, I've kept the donor box on my driver's license checked anyway. You never know what might change in the near future.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 16, 2022, 08:17 PM

6. I am in excellent health, lucky me.

But still, everything is 73 years old at this point. I suppose if I die tomorrow from a stroke or heart attack or maybe a car accident, more of me will be usable.

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