Secretor status of blood group O mothers is associated with development of ABO haemolytic disease in the newborn

Grethe Risum Krog, Henriette Lorenzen, Frederik B. Clausen, Morten H. Dziegiel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background and Objectives
Identification of antibody characteristics and genetics underlying the development of maternal anti-A/B linked to inducing haemolytic disease of the foetus and newborn could contribute to the development of screening methods predicting pregnancies at risk with high diagnostic accuracy.

Materials and Methods
We examined 73 samples from mothers to 37 newborns with haemolysis (cases) and 36 without (controls). The secretor status was determined by genotyping a single nucleotide polymorphism in FUT2, rs601338 (c.428G>A).

We found a significant association between secretor mothers and newborns developing haemolysis (p = 0.028). However, stratifying by the newborn's blood group, the association was found only in secretor mothers to blood group B newborns (p = 0.032). In fact, only secretor mothers were found in this group. By including antibody data from a previous study, we found higher median semi-quantitative levels of IgG1 and IgG3 among secretor mothers than non-secretor mothers to newborns with and without haemolysis.

We found that the maternal secretor status is associated with the production of anti-A/B, pathogenic to ABO-incompatible newborns. We suggest that secretors experience hyper-immunizing events more frequently than non-secretors, leading to the production of pathogenic ABO antibodies, especially anti-B.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVox Sanguinis
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)402-406
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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