DKMS regularly launches new projects to enhance the quality of donor typing and to expand typing profiles. This allows us to improve the quality of the data we have, even for donors who have been registered with us for a long time, because you never know when a donor will match with a patient. If we find we need more information, we contact the donors concerned and ask them to provide a new sample, usually by a regular cheek swab, like when someone registers as a new donor.
DKMS contacts selected donors by post and email as part of the following quality projects:
CMV antibody detection: All new donors are now typed including their cytomegalovirus (CMV) status, however, this was not possible in the past. We are now contacting specific donors to ask them for another sample so that we can include this status as part of their profile. CMV antibody detection allows us to analyze whether donors have already been subject to a CMV infection or had no previous contact at all with the virus. The status is also relevant when matching donors with patients.
Further typing of transplant-relevant tissue characteristics (e.g. identification of further HLA tissue characteristics, blood group AB0 and Rh., CCR5-receptors and KIR).
Health questionnaire: A survey of the medical data of donors who have combinations of tissue characteristics that are common in Europe.
When DKMS contacts you as part of any of these projects, there is no specific patient involved. We are merely proactively assessing further parameters, to improve the quality of our data, which means that we can improve the speed of donor searches, because for a patient looking for a match, sometimes every day counts!