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ABO haemolytic disease of the newborn: Improved prediction by novel integration of causative and protective factors in newborn and mother

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Prediction of haemolytic disease of the foetus and newborn (HDFN) caused by maternal anti-A/-B enables timely therapy, thereby preventing the development of kernicterus spectrum disorder. However, previous efforts to establish accurate prediction methods have been only modestly successful.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a case-control study, we examined 76 samples from mothers and 76 samples from their newborns; 38 with and 38 without haemolysis. The IgG subclass profile of maternal anti-A and anti-B was determined by flow cytometry. Samples from newborns were genetically analysed for the A2 subgroup, secretor and FcγRIIa receptor alleles.

RESULTS: Surprisingly, we found a correlation between the newborn secretor allele and haemolysis (p = 0.034). No correlation was found for FcγRIIa alleles. The A2 subgroup was found only in newborns without haemolysis. Unexpectedly, different reaction patterns were found for maternal anti-A and anti-B; consequently, the results were treated separately. For the prediction of haemolysis in A-newborns, the maternal IgG1 subclass determination resulted in an accuracy of 83% at birth. For B-newborns, an accuracy of 91% was achieved by the maternal IgG2 subclass determination.

CONCLUSION: We improved the prediction of ABO-HDFN by characterizing maternal anti-A and anti-B by flow cytometry and we presented genetic traits in newborns with correlation to haemolysis. We propose a new understanding of A- and B-substances as immunogens that enhance the maternal immune response and protect the newborn, and we suggest that the development of ABO-HDFN is different when caused by maternal anti-A compared to maternal anti-B.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVox Sanguinis
Volume117
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)415-423
Number of pages9
ISSN0042-9007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021 International Society of Blood Transfusion.

    Research areas

  • blood groups, genotyping, haemolytic disease of the foetus and newborn, RBC antigens and antibodies, serological testing

ID: 73388637