The Gerbich blood group system: old knowledge, new importance

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Abstract

Antigens of the Gerbich blood group system are expressed on glycophorin C (GPC) and glycophorin D (GPD), minor sialoglycoproteins of human erythrocytes. GPC and GPD help maintain erythrocyte shape of and contributes to the stability of its membrane. There are six high-prevalence Gerbich antigens: Ge2, Ge3, Ge4, GEPL (GE10), GEAT (GE11), GETI (GE12) and five low-prevalence Gerbich antigens: Wb (GE5), Lsa (GE6), Ana (GE7), Dha (GE8), GEIS (GE9). Some Gerbich antigens (Ge4, Wb, Dha, GEAT) are expressed only on GPC, two (Ge2, Ana) are expressed only on GPD, while others (Ge3, Lsa, GEIS, GEPL, GETI) are expressed on both GPC and GPD. Antibodies recognizing GPC/GPD may arise naturally (so-called “naturally-occurring RBC antibodies”) or as the result of alloimmunization, and some of them may be clinically relevant. Gerbich antibodies usually do not cause serious hemolytic transfusion reactions (HTR); autoantibodies of anti-Ge2- or anti-Ge3 specificity can cause autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA).

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Jaskiewicz, E., Peyrard, T., Kaczmarek, R., Zerka, A., Jodlowska, M., & Czerwinski, M. (2018, April 1). The Gerbich blood group system: old knowledge, new importance. Transfusion Medicine Reviews. W.B. Saunders. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmrv.2018.02.004

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