Isohemolysins in Blood Donors

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MODERN workers in the field of blood transfusion therapy have a tendency to consider isoantibodies only in respect to their ability to produce agglutination. Too often the hemolytic component of isoantibodies is ignored, even though some of the earliest investigators stressed its importance.

There has been renewed interest in these antibodies with the realization that the problem of the dangerous universal donor is closely related to the presence of serum isohemolysins. The widely divergent reports in the literature concerning the frequency of such isohemolysins in the general population led to the studies that form the basis of the present report.

In the early part of the twentieth century numerous papers were published discussing isohemolysins and attempting unsuccessfully to correlate their presence with specific diseases. According to Landsteiner and Leiner,1 Moragliano in 1892 reported the first observation of hemolysins in human sera against the red blood cells of other persons. His report was made before the concept of blood groups had evolved, but in all probability he did describe isohemolysins. This report and other early work were reviewed and were extended by Hesser2 in 1924. In general, however, interest in isohemolysins remained dormant until recently, when the role of these antibodies in the dangerous universal blood donor problem became increasingly apparent. Most of the interest in isohemolysins has been centered around this aspect of the problem, as emphasized by Ervin, Christian, and Young3 in 1950. This phase of the subject was critically reviewed by Dausset and Vidal4 in 1951, and by. . .



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