ABO blood group phenotype frequency estimation using molecular phenotyping in rhesus and cynomolgus macaques

Sreetharan Kanthaswamy, J. Ng, R. F. Oldt, L. Valdivia, P. Houghton, D. G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A much larger sample (N = 2369) was used to evaluate a previously reported distribution of the A, AB and B blood group phenotypes in rhesus and cynomolgus macaques from six different regional populations. These samples, acquired from 15 different breeding and research facilities in the United States, were analyzed using a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay that targets single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) responsible for the macaque A, B and AB phenotypes. The frequency distributions of blood group phenotypes of the two species differ significantly from each other and significant regional differentiation within the geographic ranges of each species was also observed. The B blood group phenotype was prevalent in rhesus macaques, especially those from India, while the frequencies of the A, B and AB phenotypes varied significantly among cynomolgus macaques from different geographic regions. The Mauritian cynomolgus macaques, despite having originated in Indonesia, showed significant (P ≪.01) divergence from the Indonesian animals at the ABO blood group locus. Most Mauritian animals belonged to the B blood group while the Indonesian animals were mostly A. The close similarity in blood group frequency distributions between the Chinese rhesus and Indochinese cynomolgus macaques demonstrates that the introgression between these two species extends beyond the zone of intergradation in Indochina. This study underscores the importance of ABO blood group phenotyping of the domestic supply of macaques and their biospecimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • ABO blood testing
  • colony genetic management
  • cynomolgus or long-tailed macaques
  • molecular diagnostics
  • rhesus macaques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Genetics


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