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Biobank research

Analysis of redox state alterations in metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders

Vitamin B3 balance is the subject of great international interest and drug development, as its tissue form, NAD, is essential for longevity and disease prevention. Diseases consume intramuscular NAD, but deficiency can be treated with so called NAD-boosters. Without the observed NAD deficiency, treatment may be even harmful, and therefore a test is needed to identify persons that are in need of treatment. Methods for testing NAD forms from easily assessable samples such as blood do not exist. NAD-metabolites regulate the repair, energy production and growth event is our tissues and organs, and are therefore a prerequisite for wellbeing and health of our body. Based on clinical and/or preclinical evidence, NAD deficiency and/or imbalance can occur in energy metabolic diseases, aging and cancer-related wasting. We invented a method to measure vitamin B3 derived NAD-metabolites levels directly from the blood which will help to identify individuals who will benefit from vitamin B3 supplementation.

FRCBS Blood donation research project: Genetics of Blood Donation

Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) recruits voluntary donors to donate blood. FRCBS’s duty towards the donors is to ensure safety of blood transfusions and minimize any adverse effects to blood donors. FRCBS carries out scientific research on health effects donation to minimize adverse health effects of donation, support decision making in FRCBS and in general advance understanding of blood donation. In this project FRCBS will link genotyping data of blood donors to their donation history data to analyse genetic predisposition to donation related phenotypes such as hemoglobin level, deferrals and adverse events.

Prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in the Finnish blood donor population and the risk assessment of blood-borne HEV infection

The study aims to investigate the epidemiology of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections among blood donors in Finland and to estimate the risk of blood-borne HEV infection in Finland. 23 000 blood donor plasma samples acquired from the Blood Service Biobank will be tested for HEV RNA by the Procleix HEV assay for nucleic acid amplification testing. VIDAS HEV IgG and IgM serological tests are performed on RNA positive samples and for a seroprevalence study on samples from 1 000 blood donors. RNA positive samples will be further investigated regarding the level of viraemia and the HEV genotype. The results of the prevalence and incidence study are used to estimate the risk of transmission of HEV through blood products in Finland as a tool for risk-based decision about screening of blood donors for HEV RNA.