TTS Antibody Consensus Meeting on Testing of HLA-antibodies in Clinical Transplantation

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Participants of the Working Groups met in Rome in May 2012

The detection and relevance of HLA antibodies in clinical transplantation was the topic of a meeting held in Rome on May 3-4, 2012. Sponsored by TTS and organized under the leadership of TTS President Gerhard Opelz, together with co-chairs Elaine Reed (Los Angeles) and Frans Claas (Leiden), experts from around the world met for discussion of this highly controversial topic. There were three working groups devoted to technology (chaired by Brian Tait, Melbourne, and Andrea Zachary, Baltimore), pre-transplant testing (chaired by Caner Süsal, Heidelberg) and post-transplant testing (chaired by Peter Nickerson, Winnipeg, and Howard Gebel, Atlanta). Members were: Robert Bray (Atlanta), Patricia Campbell (Edmonton) Jeremy Chapman (Sydney), Toby Coates (Adelaide), Robert Colvin (Boston), Emanuele Cozzi (Padova), Ilias Doxiadis (Leiden), Susan Fuggle (Oxford), John Gill (Vancouver), Denis Glotz (Paris), Suchitra Holgersson (Göteborg), Nils Lachmann (Berlin), Thalachallour Mohanakumar (St. Louis), Nicole Suciu-Foca (New York), Kazunari Tanabe (Tokyo), Craig Taylor (Cambridge), Dolly Tyan (Stanford), and Adriana Zeevi (Pittsburgh).

Preparations for the meeting via telephone conferences and email exchanges had been ongoing for six months prior to the meeting, such that the arguments and opinions were well-known to all when the group convened in Rome for this final conference. The meeting turned out to be exceptionally productive. Although there were differences in approaches to clinical testing, particularly between the United States and Europe, sound reasoning prevailed throughout the two-day deliberations.

Rounding off the program, issues such as non-HLA antibodies as well as testing for non-renal organ transplants were discussed. While it was impossible to obtain complete uniformity for test recommendations worldwide, acceptable approaches for suitable testing methodology, pre- and post-transplant testing schedules, and the interpretation of results were identified and agreed upon. Guidelines for antibody testing in clinical organ transplantations are currently being finalized for publication. All participants agreed that the consensus conference was timely and most useful and they greatly appreciated the support provided by TTS, which made this entire project possible. Additional travel support was provided by the Canadian Red Cross, the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI), the British Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (BSHI), and the German Society for Immunogenetics (DGI).

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