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Transfusion. 2011 Aug;51(8):1745-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.03038.x. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

A new platelet alloantigen, Swi(a) , located on glycoprotein Ia identified in a family with fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.

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Institute for Transfusion Medicine Dessau, Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service NSTOB, Dessau, Germany.



Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a bleeding disorder caused by transplacental passage of maternal antibodies to fetuses whose platelets (PLTs) express the corresponding human PLT antigen (HPA).


We observed a fetus with FNAIT who died from a severe intracranial hemorrhage. Analysis of maternal serum in antigen capture assay with paternal PLTs showed reactivity with PLT glycoprotein (GP)IIb/IIIa (α(IIb) β(3) ) and GPIa/IIa (α(2) β(1) integrin), indicating the presence of anti-HPA-1a and an additional alloantibody against GPIa (termed anti-Swi(a) ).


By immunochemical studies, the localization of the Swi(a) antigen on GPIa/IIa could be confirmed. Analysis of paternal GPIa full-length cDNA showed a single-nucleotide substitution C(3347) T in Exon 28 resulting in a Thr(1087) Met amino acid substitution. Testing of family members by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism using MslI endonuclease showed perfect correlation with phenotyping. Extended family and population studies showed that 4 of 10 members of the paternal family but none of 500 unrelated blood donors were Swi(a) carriers. Expression studies on allele-specific transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells confirmed that the single-amino-acid substitution Thr(1087) Met was responsible for the formation of the Swi(a) epitope. Adhesion of CHO cells expressing the Swi(a) alloantigen to immobilized collagens was not impaired compared to the wild-type control and was not inhibited by anti-Swi(a) alloantibodies.


In this study we defined a new PLT alloantigen Swi(a) that was involved in a case of additional immunization against HPA-1a. Our observations demonstrate that combinations of PLT-specific alloantibodies may comprise low-frequency alloantigens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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