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Citation Information : Immunohematology. Volume 31, Issue 2, Pages 75-80, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/immunohematology-2019-074
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Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), is a sensitive analytical method capable of resolving DNA fragments varying in mass by a single nucleotide. MALDI-TOF MS is applicable to blood group genotyping, as the majority of blood group antigens are encoded by single nucleotide polymorphisms. Blood group genotyping by MALDI-TOF MS can be performed using a panel (Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel, Agena Bioscience Inc., San Diego, CA) that is a set of genotyping assays that predict the phenotype for 101 antigens from 16 blood group systems. These assays involve three fundamental stages: multiplex target-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification, allele-specific single base primer extension, and MALDI-TOFMS analysis using the MassARRAY system. MALDI-TOF MS–based genotyping has many advantages over alternative methods including high throughput, high multiplex capability, flexibility and adaptability, and the high level of accuracy based on the direct detection method. Currently available platforms for MALDI-TOF MS–based genotyping are not without limitations, including high upfront instrumentation costs and the number of non-automated steps. The Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel, developed and optimized in a collaboration between the vendor and the Blood Transfusion Service of the Swiss Red Cross in Zurich, Switzerland, is not yet widely utilized, although several laboratories are currently evaluating the MassARRAY system for blood group genotyping. Based on the accuracy and other advantages offered by MALDI-TOF MS analysis, in the future, this method is likely to become widely adopted for blood group genotyping, in particular, for population screening.