Molecular variant RHD allele analysis is best complemented by detailed characterization of the associated D phenotype.

Study Design and Methods

Variant D types were characterized using molecular typing, RHD sequencing, extended serologic D antigen investigations, and flow cytometric D antigen quantification.


We discovered three novel weak D types termed weak D Types 45.1, 75, and 76 with RHD nucleotide substitutions coding for amino acid exchanges in predicted intracellular RhD polypeptide stretches; antigen densities of approximately 1.990, 900, and 240 D sites per red blood cell were found, respectively. Adsorption-elution technique–supported D epitope mapping of these three weak D types demonstrated the expression of all tested D epitopes. Initial molecular typing of the three investigated samples by RHD gene exon scanning polymerase chain reaction using sequence-specific priming yielded a negative reaction for A1193 located in RHD Exon 9 and could be explained by specific mutations for weak D Types 45.1 (C818T, G1195A), 75 (G1194C), and 76 (A1215C).


All novel weak D types expressed all tested D epitopes. It is of interest that for weak D Types 45.1, 75, and 76, similar alleles with a maximal divergence of one amino acid only, that is, weak D Types 45, 41, and 68, respectively, have been reported so far.