DNA typing of the human MN and Ss blood group antigens in amniotic fluid and following massive transfusion

J. R. Eshleman, S. H. Shakin-Eshleman, A. Church, J. A. Kant, S. L. Spitalnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although red blood cell (RBC) antigen typing by agglutination is generally useful, several situations exist where this approach is difficult or impossible. For example, following a massive transfusion, a patient's residual RBCs are mixed with transfused normal donor RBCs. In this case, typing by hemagglutination primarily detects the antigens on the heterogeneous population of transfused RBCs. Agglutination testing is also of limited use for determining the phenotype of a fetus at risk for hemolytic disease of the newborn because fetal RBCs must be obtained by periumbilical blood sampling. Determining the genotype of an individual by analyzing genomic DNA isolated from peripheral blood nucleated cells or aminocytes is an alternative approach for determining the RBC antigen type. In this report, the allele specific polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) was used to identify the alleles at the MN and Ss loci that encode the corresponding antigens on glycophorin A (GPA) and glycophorin B (GPB), respectively. This method was used to type these alleles in peripheral blood samples obtained from normal individuals and from patients following massive transfusion. Of 23 peripheral blood specimens analyzed, all were correctly typed by this method. The allele specific polymerase chain reaction was also used to determine these alleles using amniotic fluid samples. Of 11 amniotic fluid specimens analyzed, 8 were correctly typed at both loci. Mistyping of three amniotic fluid specimens was explained by possible maternal blood contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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