Sunday, December 4, 2011

EpHLA: An innovative and user-friendly software automating the HLAMatchmaker algorithm for antibody analysis

The global challenge for solid organ transplantation programs is to distribute organs to the highly sensitized recipients. The purpose of this work is to describe and test the functionality of the EpHLA software, a program that automates the analysis of acceptable and unacceptable HLA epitopes on the basis of the HLAMatchmaker algorithm. HLAMatchmaker considers small configurations of polymorphic residues referred to as eplets as essential components of HLA-epitopes. Currently, the analyses require the creation of temporary files and the manual cut and paste of laboratory tests results between electronic spreadsheets, which is time-consuming and prone to administrative errors. RESULTS: The EpHLA software was developed in Object Pascal programming language and uses the HLAMatchmaker algorithm to generate histocompatibility reports. The automated generation of reports requires the integration of files containing the results of laboratory tests (HLA typing, anti-HLA antibody signature) and public data banks (NMDP, IMGT). The integration and the access to this data were accomplished by means of the framework called eDAFramework. The eDAFramework was developed in Object Pascal and PHP and it provides data access functionalities for software developed in these languages. The tool functionality was successfully tested in comparison to actual, manually derived reports of patients from a renal transplantation program with related donors. CONCLUSIONS: We successfully developed software, which enables the automated definition of the epitope specificities of HLA antibodies. This new tool will benefit the management of recipient/donor pairs selection for highly sensitized patients. (read more)

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