Computational Approaches to Facilitate Epitope-Based HLA Matching in Solid Organ Transplantation (2017)

Authors of Publication: Geneugelijk K, Wissing J, Koppenaal D, Niemann M, Spierings E.

Appeared in: Journal of Immunology Research (February 2017)

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Epitope-based HLA matching has been emerged over the last few years as an improved method for HLA matching in solid organ transplantation. The epitope-based matching concept has been incorporated in both the PIRCHE-II and the HLAMatchmaker algorithm to find the most suitable donor for a recipient. For these algorithms, high-resolution HLA genotype data of both donor and recipient is required. Since high-resolution HLA genotype data is often not available, we developed a computational method which allows epitope-based HLA matching from serological split level HLA typing relying on HLA haplotype frequencies. To validate this method, we simulated a donor-recipient population for which PIRCHE-II and eplet values were calculated when using both high-resolution HLA genotype data and serological split level HLA typing. The majority of the serological split level HLA-determined ln(PIRCHE-II)/ln(eplet) values did not or only slightly deviate from the reference group of high-resolution HLA-determined ln(PIRCHE-II)/ln(eplet) values. This deviation was slightly increased when HLA-C or HLA-DQ was omitted from the input and was substantially decreased when using two-field resolution HLA genotype data of the recipient and serological split level HLA typing of the donor. Thus, our data suggest that our computational approach is a powerful tool to estimate PIRCHE-II/eplet values when high-resolution HLA genotype data is not available.

Matthias Niemann

Matthias Niemann

Matthias holds a Masters degree in Computer Science with a major in software engineering and a minor in Bioinformatics from Berlin University (Freie Universität). While working at Charité University Hospital in Berlin, he developed a database for kidney transplantation data and worked on various laboratory information systems and research databases. His research at Charité focused on epitope matching models and machine learning. He was instrumental in the implementation methods to increase data quality.
Since fall 2014 he focuses at PIRCHE on further improving the PIRCHE algorithm and investigating the technology's power in new domains.
Matthias Niemann