The utility of second single antigen bead assay: Clearing the water or stirring up mud?

Harold C. Sullivan, Scott M. Krummey, Howard M. Gebel, Robert A. Bray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Though solid-phase single antigen bead (SAB) testing has provided major advances to the HLA community and organ allocation, it has not been without limitations. In particular, false-positive reactions lead to interpretative challenges and the potential to preclude a transplant if the corresponding antigens are deemed unacceptable. Two different vendor platforms are commercially available for SAB testing, one more recent than the other. The aim herein was to assess the benefit of using the newer SAB platform in situations where the primary platform yielded suspicious (specifically, false positive) reactions. Therefore, 42 serum samples with commonly encountered false-positive patterns observed in our laboratory were tested with the newer platform. Cases were classified as resolved, equivalent, or divergent based on whether the second platform produced no reactivity, the same pattern, or a distinctly different pattern compared to the primary platform, respectively. Approximately 33% of cases were resolved, 46% were equivalent, and 21% were divergent. The project revealed advantages of adding a second SAB platform to the laboratory's test menu including resolving challenging samples and including broader coverage of different alleles and unique class II alpha/beta subunit combinations. However, the challenges of validating, maintaining, and billing for another test method in the laboratory may be barriers to routine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-670
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • False-positive reactions
  • HLA antibody
  • Single Antigen Bead

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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