Platelet CD36 deficiency is present in 2.6% of Arabian individuals and can cause NAIT and platelet refractoriness


CD36 isoantibodies are capable of inducing neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT) and platelet refractoriness. As to now the CD36 type I deficiency has been reported in East Asian and African individuals. However, it is virtually unknown in Caucasians. The aim of this study was to display the prevalence of the CD36 deficiency within parts of the Arabian population in Germany. Secondly, we are presenting the case of a newborn suffering from NAIT which was induced by CD36 antibody.


Platelet (p) CD36 was determined by flow cytometry on 1328 samples mainly from individuals of Arabian origin and a family with a neonate affected by NAIT. DNA sequencing was performed on all pCD36-negative samples.


Thirty-five (2.64%) of all donor samples were pCD36 negative, 19 (1.43%) had a weak expression. Including only individuals from the Arabian peninsula, frequencies were 3.39% and 1.75%, respectively. CD36 type I deficiency on both platelets and monocytes combined with a CD36 isoantibody were detected in the mother of the NAIT baby. The baby was successfully transfused with two HPA-unselected platelet concentrates. In case of need, two platelet units with a weak pCD36 expression were on hand. A total of 45 different CD36 mutations were detected within pCD36-negative individuals, some being homozygous, most of them only present on one allele.


The CD36-negative phenotype is present in a significant number of individuals of Arabian origin and enables CD36 isoimmunization in NAIT or refractoriness. Blood transfusion services should be aware of such cases.