Two examples of an inseparable antibody that reacts equally well with DW+ and Rh32+ red blood cells

Vox Sang. 1998;75(3):230-3.


Background and objectives: Anti-DW is a rare specificity that detects an antigen on DVa red blood cells (RBCs). Some anti-DW contain an inseparable component that cross-reacts weakly with RBCs expressing the low-incidence Rh antigen Rh32. RH32 is expressed by RBCs with either the R=Nor the DBT phenotype.

Case report: We describe here an antibody found in the serum of 2 patients that reacts equally well with RBCs possessing either DVa, R=N, or DBT phenotypes. The reactivity for DW and Rh32 antigens could not be separated by adsorption onto and elution from DW+Rh32- or from DW-Rh32+ RBCs.

Conclusions: We suggest that amino acids encoded by nucleotides at the junction of exon 4 of RHD to exon 5 of RHCE may induce a conformation that is recognized by these equally reactive inseparable antibodies. Until such time that the epitope recognized by these antibodies is defined, we recommend use of the descriptive name anti-DW/Rh32.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Agglutinins / immunology*
  • Agglutinins / isolation & purification
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / genetics
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / immunology
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Blood Grouping and Crossmatching
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Coombs Test
  • Cross Reactions
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / immunology*
  • Exons / genetics
  • Female
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • Haplotypes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Isoantibodies / immunology*
  • Isoantibodies / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Postpartum Period
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System / chemistry
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System / genetics
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System / immunology*
  • Rho(D) Immune Globulin


  • Agglutinins
  • Isoantibodies
  • RHO(D) antibody
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System
  • Rho(D) Immune Globulin
  • Rho(D) antigen