Products Used to Facilitate Antibody Identification
Monospecific anti-human globulin (IgG) enables sensitized red cells to cross-link so that agglutination is visible.
Enhancement media are sometimes used to further promote agglutination and reduce incubation time.
- Low ionic strength saline (LISS) is the most common enhancement media. LISS reduces the ionic strength in the testing sample and causes reduction of the zeta potential. It increases antibody uptake and decreases incubation time.
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG): brings red blood cells (RBCs) closer together and concentrates antibodies by removing water molecules from the testing sample. It is the most sensitive of the enhancement media; strengthening almost all clinically significant antibodies. However, it will also enhance some clinically insignificant antibodies as well. Centrifugation should be avoided when PEG is used. PEG can cause aggregates to form if the sample (red cell - serum mixture) with PEG added is centrifuged. Reaction readings should only be done at the AHG phase.
- 22% albumin: reduces zeta potential, bringing the RBCs closer together and enhancing agglutination. Albumin does not contribute much to antibody uptake. Longer incubation time is needed with this media than with the previously discussed media.
Detection of some IgG antibodies can be enhanced with enzyme test methods.
Proteolytic enzymes (papain and ficin) denature some RBC antigens and remove negative charges from the RBC membranes. This reduces the zeta potential, bringing the cells closer together. Enzyme techniques are particularly useful in the identification of Rh antibodies and antibodies in the Kidd, Lewis, P and I systems. However, enzymes destroy some antigens including Fya, Fyb, M, and N. The effect of proteolytic enzymes on the S and s antigens are variable.