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Frequency and specificity of red blood cell alloantibodies among blood transfusion recipients in Specialist Hospital, Sokoto

A.M. Makusidi
H.M. Ahmed
B Muhammad
M.K. Dallatu
M.H. Yeldu


Background: Blood transfusion usually results in production of alloantibody against one or more foreign red blood cell antigens which may complicate subsequent transfusions. The probability of alloimmunization depends on number and frequency of transfusion, antigen immunogenicity, recipient immune response and ethnicity. Studies have demonstrated varied frequency of alloimmunization after multiple blood transfusions. The paucity of information on the foregoing in our environment prompted this study.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey of the frequency and specificity of alloantibodies among transfused patients. Using their clinical records and blood transfusion history, data were analyzed with reference to sex, date of birth, history of transfusion, surgery and pregnancy.

Results: A total of 150 transfused participants, in Specialist Hospitals, Sokoto were studied. Overall alloantibody positivity was 17.3% with females accounting for 96% and males 4%. The three most frequent alloantibodies were anti-K (34.62%), anti-E (23.08%) and anti- C (15.39%). Most common clinically significant alloantibody identified in men and women were anti-K and anti-E, respectively. The most common causes of alloimmunization for men and women were surgery and pregnancy related blood transfusion respectively.

Conclusions: Alloimmunization against RBC antigens among blood transfused patients is common. Most common alloantibodies identified were anti-K and anti-E in females and anti-K in male and female respectively. The testing of blood donors for red cell antigens and antibody screening of recipients will be rewarding.

Keywords: Transfusion, RBC, Alloantibody, Sokoto

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eISSN: 1596-2407