Use of red blood cell antigen genotyping to assess RhD diversity in sickle cell disease patients

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder associated with morbidity and mortality. Patients frequently receive red blood cell (RBC) transfusions. Providing safe transfusions is a mandate of Canadian Blood Services, including matching for RhD and other blood antigens to prevent otherwise high rates of transfusion reactions in SCD patients. The risks of non-ABO mismatched blood are higher in patients with SCD in part due to genetic mutations that cause traditional techniques used to provide matched blood to be inaccurate. Canadian Blood Services provides genetic testing of the RhD blood antigen in pregnant mothers to provide safer RBC matching and to identify those at risk of hemolytic disease of the newborn. This RhD genetic testing, proven useful for other blood antigens, is more suitable than traditional serological phenotype-matching techniques to find the best matched RBCs in SCD patients. A collaboration between Canadian Blood Services and the McMaster Hemoglobinopathy Clinic, which cares for SCD patients, aims to determine: 1) whether RhD genetic mutations exist in this patient population, 2) the accuracy of RhD genetic testing compared with traditional methods, and 3) whether RhD genetic mutations occur in combination with mutations in other blood antigens. This will help provide safer blood to SCD patients.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
SHIH, Andrew
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
BERARDI, Philip CLARKE, Gwen HANNON, Judith HEDDLE, Nancy VERHOVSEK, Madeleine
McMaster University
Small Project Funding Program
Total Amount Awarded
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