A comprehensive human leukocyte antigen analysis of 36 782 cord blood units stored in the Australian Public Cord Blood Banking Network

Cytotherapy. 2022 Oct;24(10):990-998. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2022.06.002. Epub 2022 Jul 21.


Background and aims: The network of public cord blood banks (CBBs) in Australia, known as AusCord, comprises CBBs located in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. A novel comprehensive analysis has been performed to determine whether the cryopreserved, searchable cord blood unit (CBU) inventory of approximately 36 000 units share similar tissue types or haplotypes.

Methods: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) data was analysed using Microsoft Excel following standardisation of typing data.

Results: The analysis has found that the majority of stored, searched and released CBU exhibit a tissue type that is unique within and between the CBBs. Therefore, each collection performed by the CBBs is likely to comprise a tissue type that is not already stored among the total AusCord inventory. HLA alleles (HLA-A*34, HLA-B*56, HLA-DRB1*08:03), which are uncommon in European populations, were associated with Pacific Islander and/or Indigenous Australian populations and confirmed to be more frequent among donors who, when screened, self-identified as these ethnicities.

Conclusions: These data indicate that (i) continued addition of CBU to existing inventories is likely to further increase the HLA diversity and (ii) screening donors for ethnicity or strategically locating collection sites where ethnic minorities reside can successfully result in collection of rare HLA associated with ethnic minority groups for whom finding donors might otherwise be more difficult.

Keywords: Cord blood banking; Tissue type; Transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Blood Banks*
  • Ethnicity
  • Fetal Blood*
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups


  • HLA Antigens