A cost-effective strategy for selection of third-party donors for a virus-specific T-cell bank for an Asian patient population

Published:March 06, 2023DOI:


      Background aims

      Third party virus-specific T cells (VST) has shown efficacy for opportunistic virus infection which do not have effective treatment or are drug-refractory. We describe our preparatory work in setting up a third-party VST bank for a multi-ethnic Asian population.


      Discarded white cells from regular blood bank plateletpheresis donors with known locally prevalent HLA antigens were cultured in small scale to generate VST against Adenovirus, BK virus, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein–Barr virus, and Human Herpes Virus 6. Multi-virus specific T cells (multi-VST) were also generated against all 5 viruses in single cultures. A strategy of allelic typing for donors with good and broad-spectrum cytotoxicity together with consideration on HLA restriction for the virus epitope was used to select combinations of VST lines for a hypothetical third party VST bank. The breadth of coverage based on these selection criteria was validated using our database of 100 post haematopoietic stem cell transplant patients.


      We show that 50%, 42%, 56%, 56% and 42% of single VST cultures demonstrated specific cytotoxicity against AdV, BKV, CMV, EBV and HHV6 respectively. Twenty four of the 36 multi-VST lines showed activity against at least 2 of the 5 viruses studied. A carefully selected combination of just 6 VST lines can offer VST with at least 1 allelic match to 99% of potential recipients, while 92% can find 2 allelic matches and 79% can find 3 allelic matches.


      This preparatory work confirms that a cost-effective strategy recruiting a small number of pre-characterized donors can generate VST lines with broad coverage for a multi-ethnic Asian patient population, thereby laying the foundation for setting up of a third party VST bank for Asian patients.

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