Background: RhD expression varies with population and ethnicity. Accurate typing of RhD antigen among blood donors is important to prevent development of anti-D among recipients of blood transfusion. We aimed to screen blood donors for variant D phenotypes and accurately characterize them by genotyping. Material and methods: We have done prospective study on blood donors by performing RhD typing using three different commercial monoclonal anti-D reagents by both column agglutination and conventional tube techniques. Samples that showed ambiguous results were further screened with the Bio-Rad Partial RhD typing kit. Minor phenotyping for C, c, E, e antigens was performed. Multiplex PCR and Sequencing of all RHD exons with Sanger's sequencing was performed for molecular characterization of variant D. Results: A total of 16,974 blood donors were screened during the study period. Among them, 31 (0.18 %) donors were found to have a RhD variant phenotype. The male to female ratio was 10:1. The presence of ‘C’ antigen was noted among all RhD variant samples. Serological typing identified two samples as DV phenotype and the rest could not be characterized. Molecular genotyping characterized 90.3 % of the samples as Indian specific weak D type 150 variants. Three samples were subjected to Sangers sequencing and showed wild type pattern. Conclusion: The present study showed that the most common variant in this population was Weak D type 150. This study highlights that serological methods may serve as a screening tool, however, molecular techniques are essential for characterization of RhD variants.
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