With permission of GG de Lange, personal communication.

Although allotypes may be detected by a relatively simple hemagglutination system, it does employ a range of reagents that are only available from specialist hematology institutions such as national blood banking centers. Anti-allotype reagents are generally alloantibodies produced by apparently healthy blood donors and are induced to paternal allotype in multiparous women or to nonself allotypes in individuals receiving transfusions or undergoing deliberate immunization. The sample under review is assayed for inhibition of agglutination of human red blood cells coated with anti-Rh antibody of the appropriate allotype. Limited availability of these reagents has resulted in the development of some polyclonal reagents in heterologous species, but this is a generally difficult and unsatisfactory procedure.

The development of monoclonal antibodies has made assay systems widely available and allow new studies to confirm and extend the influence of Ig allo-typy on immune responsiveness. Generally, these reagents show preferential reactivity with the target allotope, rather than exclusive specificity. They must be used with care in assay protocols defined by the originating laboratory.

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