Prevalence of dog erythrocyte antigens in retired racing Greyhounds


Maria Cristina Iazbik, Veterinary Medical Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 601 Vernon L. Tharp St., Columbus, OH 43210, USA


Background: Blood groups in dogs are designated as dog erythrocyte antigen (DEA) 1.1, 1.2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and Dal. There is limited information about the frequency of different antigens in Greyhound dogs, despite their frequent use as blood donors.

Objectives: The aims of this study were to determine the frequencies of DEA 1.1, 1.2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 in Greyhounds, to compare the frequencies with those of non-Greyhound dogs, and to evaluate the presence of naturally occurring anti-DEA antibodies.

Methods: Blood was collected from 206 Greyhound and 66 non-Greyhound dogs being screened as potential blood donors. Blood-typing was performed at Animal Blood Resources International by tube agglutination utilizing polyclonal anti-DEA antibodies.

Results: Of the Greyhound dogs, 27/206 (13.1%) were positive for DEA 1.1, and this frequency was significantly lower (P<.0001) than for non-Greyhound dogs of which 40/66 (60.6%) were DEA 1.1-positive. The frequency of positivity for both DEA 1.1 and 1.2 was also lower in Greyhounds (P<.0001). There were no significant differences between Greyhounds and non-Greyhounds for DEA 1.2, 3, 4, 5, or 7. All 137 dogs (113 Greyhounds and 24 non-Greyhounds) that were evaluated for naturally occurring anti-DEA antibodies in serum were negative. A higher percentage of Greyhound dogs (57.3%, 118/206) were considered “universal donors” (negative for all DEAs except DEA 4) compared with non-Greyhound dogs (28%, 13/46).

Conclusion: The frequency of positivity for DEA 1.1 in our population of Greyhounds was significantly lower than previously reported for dogs. Furthermore, a large majority of Greyhounds met the criteria for universal donors.