This research unit is concerned with the identification and characterization of new blood group variants and scientific appraisal of discrepancies in blood group results. Classic family studies and special immunohematology diagnostics are applied at the serological and molecular level or using in vitro experiments.

New gene variants are examined for how frequently they occur in our Styrian blood donors and also find their way into international blood group allele databases. Studies and cooperations are carried out to solve problems in which blood groups may play a role.

Another emphasis is on developing new methods including molecular analysis of blood group, RNA analysis and digital PCR diagnostics.


Contact person

Thomas Wagner 
T: +43 316 385 81604

Contact person

Eva-Maria Matzhold 
T: +43 316 385 81438


COVID-19 and ABO, secretor and Lewis blood group systems

  • Retrospective case control study: This study investigates a potential connection between the manifestation of ABO and Lewis blood types and secretor status in patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection and were hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 disease. A possible connection to the severity of COVID-19 disease is tested by comparing blood group or phenotype with clinical data on disease progression.
  • Period: 2020–2021
  • Funded by: City of Graz Cultural Affairs Office (Kulturamt) and the Austrian Society for Blood Group Serology and Transfusion Medicine, Regenerative Medicine and Immunogenetics (ÖGBT)
  • Project partners: Harald Kessler and Ivo Steinmetz, Diagnostic and Research Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental Medicine, Med Uni Graz; Andrea Berghold, Institute of Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Med Uni Graz; Robert Krause, Department of Internal Medicine, Med Uni Graz; Herbert Wurzer, Division of Internal Medicine, LKH Graz II