Blood chimerism in twins

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Immunohematology

American National Red Cross

Subject: Medical Laboratory Technology

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ISSN: 0894-203X
eISSN: 1930-3955

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VOLUME 34 , ISSUE 4 (December 2018) > List of articles

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ABSTRACT

Chimerism is a phenomenon in which an individual has cells with different genetic content from different zygotes. In dizygotic twins (DTs), chimerism is believed to occur through placental anastomoses that enable the bidirectional exchange of hematopoietic stem cells. Little is still known about chimerism frequency in twins, but several studies have shown a relation between chimerism and some conditions such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and a group of autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis. In addition to chimerism of ABO blood groups being possibly mistaken for ABO subgroups, these autoimmune diseases may affect other serologic immunohematologic tests. This study aimed to determine the frequency of chimerism in DTs through ABO and D testing using the tube method, column agglutination, and short tandem repeat (STR) assays. Among the 103 subjects assessed for this study, 24 subjects (12 pairs) were excluded because STR assays showed they were monozygotic; of the remaining, 70 subjects (35 pairs) were DTs and 9 subjects came from gestations of trizygotic triplets. No ABO or D chimerism was detected in any subject through serologic assays, and STR assays did not detect any blood chimerism. Although there was no evidence of chimerism found in this study, we emphasize the importance of observing the family background of individuals with suspected ABO subgroup in complex immunohematologic studies because ABO antigen–antibody reactions are similar in both circumstances, and chimerism can be overlooked. Moreover, the use of the STR analysis method in chimerism studies can be important to help differentiate chimerism and ABO subgroups.

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