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Br J Haematol. 2009 Jan;144(1):3-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07285.x. Epub 2008 Oct 30.

Large-scale blood group genotyping: clinical implications.

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  • 1Centre for Research in Biomedicine and UWE, Bristol Genomics Research Institute, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.


The molecular background of blood group antigen expression of the major clinically significant blood group antigens has been largely accomplished. Despite this large body of work, blood group phenotype prediction by genotyping has a marginal supporting role in the routine blood bank. It has however had a major impact in the prenatal determination of fetal blood group status in the management of haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn. In the past few years several high throughput systems have been in development that have the potential capacity to perform genotyping on a mass scale. Such systems have been designed for use on donor- and patient-derived DNA and provide much more comprehensive information regarding an individuals blood group than is possible by using serological methods alone. DNA-based typing methodology is easier to standardize than serology and has the potential to replace it as a front line diagnostic in blood banks. This review overviews the current situation in this area and attempts to predict how blood group genotyping will evolve in the future.

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