Rh System

  • Helmut Schenkel-Brunner


In 1939, Levine and Stetson [160] first assumed that serological incompatibility between mother and child was the cause of erythroblastosis fetalis, also known as haemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN). The authors found that a maternal antibody entering the foetal circulation led to destruction of fetal erythrocytes. One year later, Wiener and Peters [277] were able to identify the same antibody in the serum of individuals showing transfusion reactions after ABO-compatible blood transfusions. In 1941, Levine et al. [156] reported that the antibody responsible for this disease had the same specificity as the anti-Rhesus antibody obtained by Landsteiner and Wiener [147,148] after injecting rabbits and guinea pigs with erythrocytes of rhesus monkeys.


Blood Group Erythrocyte Membrane Blood Group Antigen Blood Group System Molecular Biological Investigation 
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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut Schenkel-Brunner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Medizinische BiochemieUniversität WienViennaAustria

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