Active Immunization with Partner Lymphocytes
Immunization should be carried out prior to pregnancy or the embryo transfer. Couples that are eligible for immunization are welcome to attend a comprehensive transfusion medicine consultation. Both partners should attend this appointment. In this consultation, the indication for immunization will be validated in regard to the history and counter-indications will be ruled out. A major component of the consultation is informing the patients about the chances of success and possible side-effects of the treatment.
In most cases, specific laboratory tests of both partners are necessary to assess the chances of success and to rule out counter-indications. The required blood sample can be taken directly after the consultation. A final decision on whether or not immunization is possible can only be made once the results are at hand, i.e. after 2-3 weeks.
On the day of the immunization, approx. 100 ml of venous whole blood, which will be used for the preparation of the vaccine, will be taken from the male partner’s basilica vein. The sample will be taken between 8:00–8:30, during our consultation hours. Part of the blood will be tested for infectious agents (HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis); from the remaining blood, lymphocytes will then be isolated and processed in order to obtain a final preparation which contains approx. 30-50 million lymphocytes, no red blood cells (erythrocytes) and only a few blood platelets (thrombocytes). The entire volume is approx. 1.0–1.5 ml.
The lymphocyte preparation will be administered to the female patient at the same day in the afternoon, if the serological results are normal. The patient should be accompanied on the day of the treatment. The preparation will be administered into the lower arm with very thin needles. The injection has to be done approximately 8–10 times to be able to administer the entire preparation.