Modes of assay interference and the effectiveness of serum pretreatment approaches in detection of anti-HLA antibodies


Aims: Several modes of assay interference common to immunoassays affect solid-phase single-antigen bead-based immunoassays (SAB) used to detect antibodies against human leucocyte antigens (HLA). Best practice recommendations include methods to address assay interference, though the clinical impact and optimal approaches are undefined. We sought to evaluate assay interference in HLA SAB to identify an efficient approach for avoiding erroneous results.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of 14 059 patient samples tested for anti-HLA antibodies was performed. This included 4685 samples tested prior to implementation of serum pretreatment with EDTA and 4982 samples tested with routine EDTA treatment using the same testing algorithm. An algorithm for efficiently identifying and processing samples with suspected interference was evaluated in a separate cohort of 4392 EDTA-treated samples.

Results: EDTA serum pretreatment reduced assay interference, but did not eliminate all modes of interference. A protocol for identification and testing of samples with suspected interference facilitated efficient detection of interference while reducing the amount of additional testing required.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that a single-method approach is insufficient to address all sources of interference in HLA SAB. A multimodal approach with a proactive screening is a more effective way to minimise risk of erroneous results.

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