The frequencies of human platelet antigen (HPA) systems vary between different racial groups; however, HPA frequency data for some racial groups are still incomplete. We report the distribution of HPA 1-5 systems in Australian Aborigines from a remote community in the north-west of Australia and compare our findings with HPA observed in a Western Australian blood donor population. Using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with sequence-specific primers, 185 indigenous Australians and 1000 Western Australian blood donors were genotyped for each of the HPA 1-5 systems. Comparison of gene frequencies of alleles from HPA-1, -2, -3 and -5 systems showed significant differences between Aboriginal people and Western Australian blood donors (P <0.001). In particular, the frequency of HPA-3b (0.068) in the Australian Aboriginals, from this study, was one of the lowest reported, whilst the frequency of HPA-5b (0.246) was one of the highest for this allele. Gene frequencies were similar to those reported for central Australian Aborigines but with no other ethnic group. In conclusion, this study confirms significant differences in HPA distributions between indigenous Australians, Australian blood donors and other racial groups. These results indicate a higher potential risk of alloimmunization to HPA-1, -2 and -3 in Australian Aborigines receiving transfusion therapy from a Caucasian blood donor population, thereby having practical implications for transfusion and pregnancy risks in people of Aboriginal origin.
Bennett, JA., Palmer, L., Musk, AW., & Erber, WN. (2002). Gene frequencies of human platelet antigens 1-5 in indigenous Australians in Western Australia. Transfusion Medicine, 12, 199-203. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3148.2002.00371.x