“One of the biggest restrictions to who a donated kidney can be transplanted to is the fact that you have to be blood group compatible,” said Nicholson, professor of transplant surgery.”
“The reason for this is that you have antigens and markers on your cells that can be either A or B. Your body naturally produces antibodies against the ones you don’t have.”
“Blood group classification is also determined via ethnicity and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have the rarer B type. After successfully shifting blood group to the universal O type, we now need to look at whether our methods can be successful in a clinical setting and ultimately carried through to transplantation.”
“The research is game-changing”
Dr. Aisling McMahon, executive director of research at Kidney Research UK, said, “The research that Mike and Serena are undertaking is potentially game-changing. It is incredibly impressive to see the progress that the team has made in such a short space of time, and we are excited to see the next steps.”
“As an organisation, we are committed to funding research that transforms treatments and tackles health inequalities. We know that people from minority ethnic groups can wait much longer for a transplant as they are less likely to be a blood-type match with the organs available. This research offers a glimmer of hope to over 1,000 people from minority ethnic groups who are waiting for a kidney,” McMahon said.