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By M.D. Fulton Roberts

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The reader need not be disturbed by the fact that this table is an artificial presentation. It is a condensed summary of a mass of data and shows that four distinct antibodies can be recognised, each displaying a consistent pattern of reactions with seven distinct antigens. The second antibody is anti-D (though it was not then so called) and the pattern of reactions indicates an association between these antibodies. The relationship of the first and fourth antibodies is particularly direct for their reactions are the opposite of each other.

This error could lead to the administration of DM blood to a d person with the result that the recipient might form anti-D. A very rare experience, which is less easy to explain is the formation of anti-D by some DM persons. The alleles at the E locus are all rare (apart from E and e) and do not display any points of principle different from those at the other loci. Three have been discovered, termed EM, E w and e*. It is not intended that anything should be said here about certain genetical aspects of these closely-linked loci such as the effect of position on the expression of the genes or the interference by some genes in the expression of others, but there is one point of this kind which may prove of considerable practical importance.

These antibodies are, for convenience, called anti-C + Cw9 but they do not appear to be mixtures of independent antibodies, for they cannot be separated by absorption (as, for example, a mixture of anti-C + anti-D can). This curious fact has been explained by supposing t h a t the two antibody groupings are carried on the one molecule : but this view is capable of unjustifiable extension which might raise serious difficulties. I t might be wiser at present to regard the difference between C and Cw as a slight chemical one so that most antibodies are capable of reacting effectively with both forms ; but t h a t some antibodies are able to react only with C and others only with Cw.

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