Assessment of HNA alloimmunisation risk in Northeastern Thais, Burmese and Karen

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This study aimed to determine human neutrophil antigen (HNA) frequency, estimate possible HNA incompatibilities and predict the risk of HNA alloimmunisation in the Northeastern Thai, Burmese and Karen populations.


Alloantibodies against HNA are implicated in a number of clinical conditions, including immune-mediated neutropenia and transfusion reactions.


A total of 400 unrelated healthy Thais, 261 Burmese and 249 Karen was included in this study. DNA samples were typed for HNA-1, -3, -4 and -5 systems using polymerase chain reactions with sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP).


In this cohort, HNA-1a was more prevalent than HNA-1b. Accordingly, the possible risk of HNA-1a alloimmunisation against HNA-1a is lower than HNA-1b (0·0802–0·1351 vs 0·2293–0·2497). This is in contrast to the situation reported in Caucasian and African populations. The predicted risk of HNA-3 incompatibility in Thais, Burmese and Karen were 28·09%, 30·66% and 22·77%, respectively. The possible risks of HNA-3a alloimmunisation were 0·0493 in Thais, 0·0608 in Burmese and 0·0196 in Karen, respectively. No individuals were found to be homozygous for HNA-4bb. The probability of developing alloantibodies against HNA-4a was low in these populations and every population in Asia. In contrast, the overall frequency of HNA-5bb homozygous individuals was high in this study, peaking at 0·192.


This is the first study that reported the allele frequencies of HNA-1, -3, -4, and -5 in a large sample of healthy unrelated individuals from ethnic Thais, Burmese and Karen. Our results indicated the high possible risk of HNA-1, -3 and -5 alloimmunisation in these populations.

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