East Meets West—Impact of Ethnicity on Donor Match Rates in the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Donor Registry

Michael Halagan*, Sigal Manor, Nira Shriki, Isaac Yaniv, Bracha Zisser, Abeer Madbouly, Martin Maiers, Jerry Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HLA haplotype frequencies in a volunteer bone marrow donor registry should reflect the frequencies of potential transplant recipients served by that registry, a challenge in a country with diverse subethnicities of immigrants from Eastern and Western cultures, such as Israel. We evaluated the likelihood of finding suitable donors for hypothetical patients drawn from defined subethnicities in the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Donor Registry (EM BMDR) from donors both within and outside the registry now and during the coming decade. On average, bioinformatics modeling predicts that, given current donor recruitment trends, 6/6 high-resolution HLA match rates for Israelis, which currently stand at 40% to 55% for most subethnicities, will rise by up to 1% per year over the next decade. Subethnicities with historically lower rates of interethnic admixture are less likely to find matches outside of their designated group but will benefit from expansion of the registry, whereas ethnically directed drives will enhance matching rates for currently underrepresented subethnicities. Donor searches for the same cohort using a large extramural registry was of only slight benefit for most of the 19 EM BMDR subethnicities evaluated, confirming that local donor registries that reflect the ethnic diversity of the community being served are best equipped to serve the needs of their respective communities. Contemporary trends of an increasingly multiethnic admixture in Israel may impact the effect of ethnic profiling in assessing future match rates for EM BMDR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1386
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Bone marrow donor registry
  • HLA
  • Haplotype and allele frequencies
  • Jewish population
  • Match rates
  • Registry modeling


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