Irregular antibodies are ones that may cause incompatibility in blood transfusions but are not ABO blood group antibodies. They are typically IgGs and appear after exposure to foreign antigens early in life.
If an individual is exposed to a blood group antigen that is not recognised as self, the immune system of the individual will detect and become sensitized to that antigen. Exposure to non-self blood group antigens can occur, for example, through mother-to-fetus transfer or blood transfusion. If the individual is exposed to the same antigen later on then the individual will exhibit an immune response to that antigen.
If a patient receives a blood transfusion containing an antigen to which she has become sensitized the patient’s antibodies – irregular antibodies are examples of such antibodies – can attack the donated blood causing it to hemolyze. The hemolytic response can be rapid, as with the most well-known ABO blood group antigens, or slow (days or weeks after the transfusion) as with antigens detected by irregular antibodies.
|Irregular Antibody||Product Identifier*|
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