Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Rhesus Blood Group Locus

Autosomal locus found on chromosome 1p; a complex blood group with at least six antigen-producing alleles at up to three polymorphic loci; the clinically significant alleles are D, d. Antibodies in most blood groups, such as those responding to the Rhesus factor (antiD), are manufactured in response to specific antigenic challenges from an individual’s environment. Other major polypeptides in the Rh blood group include the Cc/Ee antigens (autosomal recessives), but there are over 40 other antigens in this series as well. For clinical purposes, Rh phenotypes are reported as Rh (DD, Dd) or Rh (dd), but denoting haplotypes for the three major alleles (e.g. cde, cDe) is common. The antibodies of the Rh system are IgG class immunoglobulins, and small enough to permeate the placental membrane, creating potentially significant problems in certain pregnancies.

See Rhesus incompatibility and hemolytic disease of the newborn. Aka Rh system.

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