Background and objectives: Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in thalassemia for detecting susceptible factors in alloimmunization development. Alloimmunization, especially against Rh and Kell blood, occurs in 30% of thalassemia dependent transfusion (TDT) patients. The aim of this study is to determine the role of HLA-DRB1*11 and HLA-DRB1*13 group-specific alleles in the production of Rh and Kell alloantibodies.
Materials and methods: 106 TDT patients were recruited for this study (54 responders and 52 non-responders). Responder patients developed Rh, Kell and/or specificities alloantibodies. HLA genotyping was done with Sequence-Specific Primers (SSP-PCR) and the results were compared between two groups.
Results: A significant association was found between anti-K (P=0.021, OR=2.546, 95%CI) and anti-E (P=0.049, OR=2.304, 95%CI) alloantibodies production with DRB1*11, respectively. Development of Anti-K and Anti-E alloantibodies were associated with DRB1*11 (P = 0.021, OR = 2.546, 95%CI) (P = 0.049, OR = 2.304, 95%CI), respectively. Further analysis showed that DRB1*11 is more frequent in multi responders (responder with both Rh and Kell alloantibodies) than mono-responders, 71% Versus 29%. There was not found any association between the DRB1*13 group-specific allele and the production of alloantibodies (P = 0.584, OR = 0.308, 95%CI).
Conclusions: The evidence from this study suggests that detecting the DRB1*11 group-specific allele before starting transfusion can be useful to identify susceptible patients, increase HSCT transplantation compatibility and blood transfusion management.
Keywords: Alloimmunization; HLA-DRB1; HLA-DRB1*11; HLA-DRB1*13; Thalassemia.
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