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What is HLA?
HLA stands for human leukocyte antigen, which is also known as histocompatibility antigen. There are proteins – antigens – on the surface of all cells in the human body. The body needs HLA antigens to recognize foreign cells (bacteria, viruses, cancerous cells, any donor material, etc.) as well as to identify its own cells and tissues. When foreign cells enter the body, HLA antigens trigger the immune response, which leads to destruction of the foreign cells. This is how the body’s protective function works.
What is HLA typing?
HLA typing is classically used to determine the compatibility between the donor and the recipient in transplant surgery. In reproduction medicine, it refers to determining the compatibility between the egg donor and the recipient before fertilization of the donor eggs with the partner’s (or donor) sperm, followed by the implantation of the embryo into the uterus. The HLA typing of egg donors and the recipient is a new and unique method of testing in reproductive genetics.