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Vox Sang. 1985;49(3):206-10.

A new approach to the diagnosis of active Rh0(D) immunization in passively immunized pregnant women.


An assay has been developed to distinguish active from passive Rh0(D) immunization in a patient who had recently received hyperimmune anti-Rh0(D) immunoglobulin therapy. Isolated peripheral B lymphocytes from a pregnant woman at 32 weeks gestation were co-cultured with Epstein-Barr virus in a liquid growth medium. After 7 days, anti-Rh0(D) antibodies produced in vitro by the transformed lymphocytes were detected in culture supernatants, thereby proving active immunization and indicating the potential of hemolytic disease of the newborn in the current pregnancy. This assay was also performed with peripheral B lymphocytes from three groups of individuals: mothers known to be Rh0(D) immunized and who recently delivered Rh-positive infants, women with longstanding Rh0(D) immunization, and women who were treated with anti-Rh0(D) globulin. In the first group, anti-Rh0(D) antibodies were again detected after in vitro viral stimulation. In the latter two groups, essentially no anti-Rh0(D) activity was detected.

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