Prenatal prediction of fetal Rh C, c and E status by amplification of maternal cfDNA and deep sequencing

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Background: The Rh blood group system has considerable clinical importance. The C, c, and E antigens are targets of alloantibodies. Anti-C, anti-c or anti-E alloreactive antibodies produced in pregnant women can cause anemia of a fetus carrying the corresponding antigens. Aims: Based on NGS technology, we have developed a noninvasive diagnostic assay to predict the fetal blood group of C, c or E antigens by sequencing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) during pregnancy. Materials and methods: The SNVs underlying either the C, c or E antigens were PCR amplified and sequenced using NGS on a MiSeq instrument. The DNA sequences encoding the C, c or E antigen were counted, as were the number of total sequences. Based on the percentage of fetally derived target SNVs inherited from the father, the fetal blood group could be predicted. Results: The results of 55 consecutive RHCE prenatal analyses with postnatal serological blood group determination of 30 newborns showed no discordant results. A threshold discerning positive from negative samples was set at 0.05% specific reads. Discussion: Noninvasive, prenatal prediction of fetal blood groups by sequencing cfDNA for the detection of low-level RHCE*C, RHCE*c and RHCE*E sequences was established as an accurate and robust assay applicable for use in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1380-1388
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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