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From where do A, B, and RH anti-bodies come?

By the age of three months, human infants acquire blood group antibodies that will attack non-self blood types. The origin of these antibodies is a mystery. One hypothesis is that bacteria enter the blood stream in teething infants, and antigens on the bacteria stimulate the production of antibodies which are also specific to blood type antigens. Somehow, the body's thymus gland prevents the formation of anti-bacteria antibodies that would attack the body's own blood type. If this hypothesis is true, then anti-sera consisting of monocional antibodies to blood type antigens should also react with at least some of the bacteria usually present in the mouth. In this experiment, broth suspensions of various oral bacteria were treated with commercial anti-sera looking to see if the anti-sera triggered agglutination of the bacterial cells through antibody binding. While the microscopic observations were somewhat subjective, it was found that the anti-sera agglutinated some oral bacteria but not others, an observations which is consistent with the hypothesis that oral bacterial antigens are responsible for blood group antibodies.

Amelia Dickerson, Cherry Creek High School.
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Author:Dickerson, Amelia
Publication:Journal of the Colorado-Wyoming Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2001
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