Full-unit transfusions of RBC enzymatically converted from group B to group O by treatment with alpha-galactosidase (ECO RBC) to group O and A normal healthy individuals exhibit excellent in vivo survival times (24-hour survival 95.1% +/- 2.3%, T50 36.9 +/- 4.6 days). These results confirm our earlier findings describing ECO RBC in vitro viability and normal in vivo survival time after small-volume infusions. No significant increase in pretransfusion anti-B titer or score is observed in either group O or A subjects provided that sufficient enzyme is used to treat the cells: Cells transfused to group O recipients require higher levels of enzyme (185 to 200 U/mL RBC) than those infused to group A (90 U/mL RBC). Two separate single-unit transfusions of ECO RBC to one group O recipient (4.5 months apart) also survived normally (24-hour survival 96% and 92%, T50 40 and 36 days) and did not increase preexisting anti-B levels in this subject. ECO RBC were not agglutinated or lysed by recipient sera before or after transfusion. Similarly, no antibody development to the alpha- galactosidase used in cell treatment (and washed from the product before transfusion) could be detected in any subject. The sustained increase in hemoglobin levels after transfusion of ECO RBC suggests that this product will be useful in treatment of acute and chronic anemia.

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