Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The destruction of red blood cells known as hemolysis in the newborn baby is very dangerous, but existing clinical methods are not sufficient for rapid diagnosis and can lead to delays early-life care. A new Swietach Group paper has identified a biomarker that could significantly speed up the process.

© Shutterstock Images

Hemolytic disease in newborn babies is a blood disorder whereby the red blood cells break down at a fast rate. Hemolysis in the newborn can be life threatening, yet direct assays for rapid diagnosis are not currently available for regular monitoring. Instead, current clinical management relies on resource-intensive measurements of downstream ramifications, which potentially delays critical decisions in early-life care.

Using a cohort of newborn infants manifesting various hemolytic states, a team led by DPAG’s Associate Professor Pawel Swietach has demonstrated that intravascular hemolysis can be detected by measuring CAI excretion in a small sample of urine using cost-effective immunoreactivity techniques. This biomarker is the most direct and immediate readout of hemolysis, and has the potential to be measured by kits similar to those used in pregnancy tests for point-of-care use.

According to Prof Swietach: "This method can improve resource allocation, identify ‘at-risk’ patients earlier, and may be implemented under minimal-laboratory conditions. The method can also address the inadequacy of testing capacity in developing regions, where haemolytic triggers tend to be more common, and include protozoan infections (such as malaria), sepsis, birth trauma and various genetic traits, such as sickle cell and G6PDD."

The full paper, first authored by Postdoctoral Research Scientist Dr Alzbeta Hulikova, "Detection of Intravascular Hemolysis in Newborn Infants Using Urinary Carbonic Anhydrase I Immunoreactivity" can be read in The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine.

Similar stories

Anant Parekh to deliver The Physiological Society's Annual Review Prize Lecture

The Annual Review Prize Lecture is The Physiological Society's most prestigious lecture.

Researchers discover novel form of adaptation in the auditory system

DPAG’s auditory neuroscience researchers have found that the auditory system adapts to the changing acoustics of reverberant environments by temporally shifting the inhibitory tuning of cortical neurons to remove reverberation.

Collaborative team driven by DPAG and Chemistry awarded RSC Horizon Prize

The Molecular Flow Sensor Team, with collaborating members principally from DPAG’s Robbins and Talbot groups and the Department of Chemistry, has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) Analytical Division Horizon Prize for the development of a new technology for measuring lung function.

REF 2021 results

DPAG researchers showcased at premier European Society of Cardiology meeting

DPAG scientists across four research groups were highlighted at the major annual European Society of Cardiology basic science conference (FCVB 2022). Congratulations are in order for Dr KC Park on receiving the Young Investigator Award and to Dr Elisabetta Gamen on winning the Moderated Poster Prize.