Abstract: BACKGROUND The distribution of RBC antigens, which define blood group types, differs among populations. In contrast to many world populations, blood group profiles for Indigenous Australians have not been well studied. As it is now possible to predict comprehensive blood group antigen profiles from genomic data sets, we aimed to apply this for Indigenous Australians and to provide a comparison to other major world populations. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS Whole exome sequence data for 72 Western Desert Indigenous Australians was provided by the Telethon Kids Institute. Variants (against hg19) were annotated using computer software (ANNOVAR, Qiagen Bioinformatics) and filtered to include only variants in genes for 36 blood group systems, and the transcription factors KLF1 and GATA1. The RHCE*C allele and RHD zygosity were identified by copy number variant analysis of sequence alignments. The impact of missense variants was investigated in silico using a meta-predictor of disease-causing variants (Meta-SNP). RESULTS For 21 blood group systems the predicted blood group antigen frequencies were comparable to those for other major world populations. For 13 systems, interesting points of contrast were identified. Furthermore, we identified 12 novel variants, one novel D allele, and four rare variants with potential clinical significance. CONCLUSION This is the first systematic assessment of genomic data to elucidate blood group antigen profiles for Indigenous Australians who are linguistically and culturally diverse. Our study paves the way to understanding the geographic distribution of blood group variants in different Indigenous groups and the associated RBC phenotypes. This in turn is expected to guide transfusion practice for Indigenous individuals.
Schoeman, Elizna M., Roulis, Eileen V., Perry, Maree A., Flower, Robert L., Hyland, Catherine A., 2018, Comprehensive blood group antigen profile predictions for Western Desert Indigenous Australians from whole exome sequence data, Journal Article, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14231.