Blood transfusions can induce alloantibodies to antigens on red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells and platelets, with these alloantibodies affecting transfusion and transplantation. While transfusion-related alloimmunization against RBC antigens and human leucocyte antigens (HLA) have been studied, transfusion-related alloimmunization to minor histocompatibility antigens (mHA), such as H-Y antigens, has not been clinically characterized. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 114 children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and tested for antibodies to 5 H-Y antigens and to HLA class I and class II. Few patients had H-Y antibodies, with no significant differences in the prevalence of any H-Y antibody observed among transfused females (7%), transfused males (6%) and never transfused females (4%). In contrast, HLA class I, but not HLA class II, antibodies were more prevalent among transfused than never transfused patients (class I: 33% vs. 13%, P = 0·046; class II: 7% vs. 8%, P = 0·67). Among transfused patients, RBC alloantibody history but not amount of transfusion exposure was associated with a high (>25%) HLA class I panel reactive antibody (Odds ratio 6·8, 95% confidence interval 2·1-22·3). These results are consistent with immunological responder and non-responder phenotypes, wherein a subset of patients with SCD may be at higher risk for transfusion-related alloimmunization.
Keywords: H-Y; HLA antibody; alloimmunization; sickle cell disease; transfusion.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.