Published online Nov 6, 2013. doi: 10.5315/wjh.v2.i4.109
Revised: October 8, 2013
Accepted: October 17, 2013
Published online: November 6, 2013
AIM: To study frequency of blood groups, prevalence of sickle-cell anemia trait and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD), among consanguineous Yansi tribe.
METHODS: A total of 525 blood samples were collected, of which 256 among the Yansi population, and 269 for the unrelated control group in the Bandundu province of Democratic Republic of Congo. Blood group antigens were determined in the following systems: ABO, Rh, Kell, Duffy, Kidd and MNS. Blood grouping and extended phenotype tests were performed according to standard immunohematological procedures. Spot tests and tandem mass spectrometry were used respectively for the assessment of G6PD and sickle-cell anemia trait.
RESULTS: The frequency of ABO phenotypes conformed to the following order O>A>B>AB with notably 62.5%, 23.8%, 12.1% and 1.6% for the Yansi, and 54.6%, 27.5%, 14.1% and 3.7% for the unrelated control group, respectively (P = 0.19). As for the Rh phenotypes, the most frequent were ccD.ee, ccD.Ee, CcD.ee, corresponding to 71.5%, 12.1% and 12.1% for the Yansi, and 70.6%, 15.6% and 8.2%, for the unrelated control group (P = 0.27). The frequency of MN and Ss phenotypes were statistically different between groups (P = 0.0021 and P = 0.0006). G6PD was observed in 11.3% of subjects in the Yansi group, and in 12.4% of controls (P = 0.74). The sickle-cell anemia trait was present in 22.4% of Yansi subjects and 17.8% in the control group (P = 0.24). Miscarriages and deaths in young age were more common among Yansi people.
CONCLUSION: This study shows a significant difference in MNS blood group distribution between the Yansi tribe and a control population. The distribution of other blood groups and the prevalence of hemoglobinopathies did not differ in the Yansi tribe.
Core tip: Assessment of blood group frequencies is important to evaluate the risk of alloimmunization after transfusion or pregnancy. Few documented studies have been published about the frequency of blood groups and extended phenotypes in the Congolese people in general and the consanguineous Yansi tribe in particular. This is also the case for the prevalence of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and sickle-cell trait. We show that the distribution of MNS blood groups is different in the Yansi tribe, compared to the general population. The Yansi also present with a higher frequency of medical disorders. This study may help in sensitizing the Congolese population about the medical risks associated with consanguineous unions and in building up a database of genetic diseases in the population.