DOI: 10.21276/ajptr
Thu, 21 Mar 2019

Rh (E) phenotype among pregnant women in Sokoto, North Western Nigeria.

Erhabor Osaro1, Kabiru Salisu Adamu1, Abdulrahaman Yakubu1, Okwesili Augustine1, Onuigwe F1, Isaac ZI1,

1. Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.

2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria


The Rhesus blood group system is second to the ABO blood group system among the clinically significant red cell antigens. The Rhesus blood group system has been incriminated  in cases of haemolytic transfusion reaction and haemolytic disease of the foetus and newborn. In this present study, we investigated 155 pregnant women aged 18 to 45 years and mean age 27.19 ± 4.70 attending antenatal clinic in Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital  Sokoto for their Rhesus E phenotype using Lorne Laboratories (United Kingdom) anti-E reagent. Out of the 155 pregnant women tested, 44(28.4%) were positive for Rh (E) whereas 111(71.6%) tested negative. Subjects were classified based on ethnicity. Pregnant women of Hausa ethnic group was found to have the highest frequency (60.6%), followed by Fulani (12.3%), Igbo (11.6%), others (9.7%) and Yoruba (5.8%).  Subjects were stratified based on age groups. The age range of 26-35yrs was found to have the highest frequency 76 (49%), followed by 15-25 yrs 70 (45.2%) and 36-45yrs 9 (5.8%). Subjects were also categorized based on their educational status. Subjects that attended tertiary institutions had the highest frequency 42.6%, followed by secondary 31.6%, primary 21.9% and non formal 3.9%. We recommend that all pregnant women be routinely tested for clinically significant red cell antigen including Rhesus E during pregnancy. Pregnant women who are Rh E negative who require a transfusion should be transfused with Rh E negative red cells to prevent alloimmunization and HDFN in future pregnancies. Pregnant women should be tested routinely for the presence of clinically significant alloantibodies. Those positive for alloantibodies should be transfused with red cells that are negative for antigens to which the antibody is specific.

Keyword: Rhesus (E) phenotype, pregnant women, Sokoto, Nigeria, haemolytic disease of the new-born, haemolytic transfusion reaction.


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