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A prospective observational study to evaluate effect of heat inactivation on ABO titers performed by column agglutination technology and conventional tube technique.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: When determining ABO antibody titers, immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies can be masked by immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies. Hence, the measurement of actual concentration of IgG requires methods like heat inactivation (HI) of plasma. This study was aimed at determining the effects of HI on IgM and IgG titers performed by conventional tube technique (CTT) and column agglutination technique (CAT).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective, observational study conducted from October 2019 to March 2020. All consecutive A, B, and O group donors who gave consent for participation were included. All samples were consecutively tested by CTT and CAT, before and after HI (pCTT, pCAT).

RESULTS: A total of 300 donors were included. IgG titers were found to be more than IgM titers. For group O, IgG titer results were higher for both anti-A and anti-B compared to group A and B. For group A, B, and O, pretreatment results were higher than posttreatment IgG titer results. Median anti-A titers were similar to median anti-B titers across all categories. Median IgM and IgG titers were higher for group O individuals than nongroup O individuals. There was reduction in IgG and IgM titers after HI of plasma. One log reduction in median titers was observed when ABO titers were performed by CAT and CTT.

CONCLUSION: There is one log difference between median antibody titers estimated using heat inactivated and nonheat inactivated plasma. The use of HI for ABO isoagglutinin titer estimation can be considered in low resource settings.

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