It is known that immunologic response can be specifically altered in birds and mammals during the fetal and newborn periods by exposure to foreign antigens or by transplantation of living cells. The effect of isoantibodies passively transferred to the fetus on the development of the fetus' own antigens does not appear to have been investigated. The D antigen of the erythrocytes of infants who had recovered from erythroblastosis fetalis due to anti-D was used as the experimental model to explore this possibility. The quantitative hemagglutination techniques used by Wurmser and Filitti-Wurmser (1), Wilkie and Becker (2) and Goodman (3) were modified to make the observations. This article describes the methods that were adapted for the quantitative hemagglutination assay of the D antigen by papainized erythrocytes with incomplete anti-D antibodies. The results of studying the D antigens of the erythrocytes of 49 members of 12 families selected because they contained children who had recovered from mild or severe erythroblastosis fetalis are presented.

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