BACKGROUND: Many aspects of transfusion medicine are affected by genetics. Current single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays are limited in the number of targets that can be interrogated and cannot detect all variation of interest. We designed a transfusion medicine array (TM-Array) for study of both common and rare transfusion-relevant variations in genetically diverse donor and recipient populations.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The array was designed by conducting extensive bioinformatics mining and consulting experts to identify genes and genetic variation related to a wide range of transfusion medicine clinical relevant and research-related topics. Copy number polymorphisms were added in the alpha globin, beta globin, and Rh gene clusters.
RESULTS: The final array contains approximately 879,000 SNP and copy number polymorphism markers. Over 99% of SNPs were called reliably. Technical replication showed the array to be robust and reproducible, with an error rate less than 0.03%. The array also had a very low Mendelian error rate (average parent-child trio accuracy of 0.9997). Blood group results were in concordance with serology testing results, and the array accurately identifies rare variants (minor allele frequency of 0.5%). The array achieved high genome-wide imputation coverage for African-American (97.5%), Hispanic (96.1%), East Asian (94.6%), and white (96.1%) genomes at a minor allele frequency of 5%.
CONCLUSIONS: A custom array for transfusion medicine research has been designed and evaluated. It gives wide coverage and accurate identification of rare SNPs in diverse populations. The TM-Array will be useful for future genetic studies in the diverse fields of transfusion medicine research.