Publicado: Sáb, Agosto 25, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Gut enzymes convert donor blood to much-needed universal type O

Gut enzymes convert donor blood to much-needed universal type O

They tested how well these enzymes were at removing the sugary antigens on Type A and Type B blood, and found they were 30 times more effective than previous candidates.

Those with the other types of blood - Type A and Type B - have antigens on their red blood cells that prevent their blood from being donated to those who don't match.

Withers collaborated with his colleague at UBC to use metagenomics in his search for the enzyme, Eurekalert reports.

"Antigens can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to the body, so transfusion patients should receive either their own blood type, or type O to avoid a reaction", he said.

A newly discovered gut enzyme is being hailed as a possible solution to blood unit shortages thanks to the fact it can alter blood types. This led his team to look for the enzyme in the human gut.

Scientists claim they may have identified gut bacteria that could convert blood types A and B into type O.

Dr Withers said he wants to test the enzymes on a larger scale so he can begin clinical trials.

Canadian Blood Services recently made an appeal for blood donors as their supplies, especially in rarer types, are running low.

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Blood group B has the opposite antigen and antidote situation to group A. Those with AB blood have both A and B antigens, but no antibodies in the plasma. So, in one fell swoop, they grabbed the DNA blueprints for everything those microorganisms might make - including, it turned out, enzymes that help the bacteria pluck sugar-studded proteins called mucins off the walls of the digestive tract. That's why O blood type donations are so important: as their red blood cells contain no A or B antigens, the antibodies of other groups won't attack them.

Researchers in the United States said the transformation is up to 30 times more efficient than previously studied enzymes and will soon start work on clinical trials.

"It just becomes another step and another cost", Ziman said.

Because of O negative's universality, it is useful in emergency surgery, for instance, when there isn't time to test for a patient's blood type.

"Scientists have pursued the idea of adjusting donated blood to a common type for a while, but they have yet to find efficient, selective enzymes that are also safe and economical", he added.

The paper "Discovery of CAZYmes for cell surface glycan removal through metagenomics: Towards universal blood" will be presented today, Tuesday 21st August, at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

One advantage of these enzymes is that they work in whole blood, not just components of blood, meaning that donations could be quickly converted to universal type O, he suggested. "We are hopeful that technology can support in alleviating numerous issues around blood shortages faced by blood collection centers such as Red Cross and others to meet patient needs".

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