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Scheme Description

Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) molecules play an important role in immune function and have important interactions with HLA Class I molecules. Two kinds of KIR haplotype have been described based upon gene content, and are designated A and B.  KIR genes are highly polymorphic and different genotypes have been associated with outcome after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, especially in the haploidentical transplant setting.



To assess participants’ ability to correctly determine the presence or absence of specific KIR genes.



A total of ten blood samples will be sent each year as two distributions of five blood samples.



Participants can register for assessment for the presence/absence of: KIR2DL1, KIR2DL2, KIR2DL3, KIR2DL4, KIR2DL5, KIR3DL1, KIR3DL2, KIR3DL3, KIR3DS1, KIR2DS1, KIR2DS2, KIR2DS3, KIR2DS4, KIR2DS5, KIR2DP1, KIR3DP1.

Participants can report any other KIR polymorphisms they detect or subtypes for information. Subtypes for 2DS4 and 3DP1 may be reported as FULL or DEL.

Participants can also register for assessment of the ‘A’ or ‘B’ haplotype for each sample based on the gene content of the sample.  This information will be assessed for 2023 onwards.

Participants must only use the reporting forms provided within the UK NEQAS for H&I Participant’s Portal and return results within 2 weeks.



Participating laboratories will be assessed on the loci they designate at registration.

The consensus KIR genotype is determined by at least 75% of laboratories agreeing the presence/absence of each gene. A reference result will be used for assessment for samples failing to reach the 75% consensus level.


Assessment Procedure

Each full KIR genotype in agreement with the consensus/reference genotype – Acceptable

Each full KIR genotype not in agreement with the consensus/reference genotype – Unacceptable

Each sample not reported – with valid reason – Not Assessed

Each sample not reported/late submission – Unacceptable


Satisfactory Performance

Satisfactory performance is obtaining nine or more full KIR genotypes in agreement with the consensus/reference genotypes in a year.

Laboratories with unsatisfactory performance will receive written notification of their status and will be expected to reply to UK NEQAS for H&I detailing their corrective actions. For UK laboratories, unsatisfactory performance will be reported to UK NQAAP for Immunology. For UK laboratories, failure to reply or replies deemed unsatisfactory are likely to be further actioned by UK NQAAP for Immunology.


Information/Analysis Provided to Participants

  • Anonymised summary table of all participant results, comments and methodology. Including sample assessment result (acceptable/unacceptable classification) for each participant.
  • End of year summary of participant performance.