A collaborative project between researchers in Switzerland and Germany suggests that matrix-assisted laser deabsorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) may be a feasible method for high throughput blood group genotyping. As reported in the journal Transfusion Medicine Reviews, preliminary data demonstrates that the MALDI-TOF MS technology yields accurate and reliable results, and may be a cost-efficient alternative to other genotyping methods. While MALDI-TOF MS was initially used for proteomics, it was introduced as a method for DNA analysis in 1995. Researchers have now shown that MALDI-TOF MS can be successfully used for the molecular detection of 101 blood group antigens, including the groups Rh, Kell, Kidd, Duffy, and MNSs, and a collection of low incidence antigens. The method was also used to perform Kell and RhD genotyping using fetal DNA from maternal plasma. Further data are needed to better refine use of this technology.
1. Gassner C, Meyer S, Frey BM and Vollmert C. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation, Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry–Based Blood Group Genotyping—The Alternative Approach. Transfusion Medicine 2013;27 2-9.