A comprehensive ovine model of blood transfusion

Simonova, G., Tung, John-Paul, Fraser, John, Do, H L, Staib, Andrew, Chew, M, Dunster, Kimble, Glenister, Kristen, Jackson, D, & Fung, Y.L. (2014) A comprehensive ovine model of blood transfusion. Vox Sanguinis, 106(2), pp. 153-160.

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The growing awareness of transfusion-associated morbidity and mortality necessitates investigations into the underlying mechanisms. Small animals have been the dominant transfusion model but have associated limitations. This study aimed to develop a comprehensive large animal (ovine) model of transfusion encompassing: blood collection, processing and storage, compatibility testing right through to post-transfusion outcomes.

Materials and methods

Two units of blood were collected from each of 12 adult male Merino sheep and processed into 24 ovine-packed red blood cell (PRBC) units. Baseline haematological parameters of ovine blood and PRBC cells were analysed. Biochemical changes in ovine PRBCs were characterized during the 42-day storage period. Immunological compatibility of the blood was confirmed with sera from potential recipient sheep, using a saline and albumin agglutination cross-match. Following confirmation of compatibility, each recipient sheep (n = 12) was transfused with two units of ovine PRBC.


Procedures for collecting, processing, cross-matching and transfusing ovine blood were established. Although ovine red blood cells are smaller and higher in number, their mean cell haemoglobin concentration is similar to human red blood cells. Ovine PRBC showed improved storage properties in saline–adenine–glucose–mannitol (SAG-M) compared with previous human PRBC studies. Seventy-six compatibility tests were performed and 17·1% were incompatible. Only cross-match compatible ovine PRBC were transfused and no adverse reactions were observed.


These findings demonstrate the utility of the ovine model for future blood transfusion studies and highlight the importance of compatibility testing in animal models involving homologous transfusions.

Impact and interest:

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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 88591
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: blood transfusion;compatibility test;ovine model;storage lesion
DOI: 10.1111/vox.12076
ISSN: 0042-9007
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 International Society of Blood Transfusion
Deposited On: 06 Nov 2015 00:36
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2015 00:36

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