Red cells from known D variant donors were tested with 41 monoclonal anti-D reagents, 26 IgG and 15 IgM, with the view to selecting a panel to aid the identification of unusual D types. These antibodies gave reaction patterns which allowed the identification of most of the known D category cells, recognizing epD2, epD5, epD6/7, epD8 and epD9, but were unable to distinguish category III from normal D-positive cells. Reactivity with HMi, HMii, DFR, DBT and R(0)^Har cells split epD2, epD5 and epD6/7 into two, three and eight groups, respectively. A panel comprising 15 monoclonal anti-D, 11 IgG and four IgM, was selected as representative of the antibodies tested. Reactivity of monoclonal anti-D was dependent on antibody concentration and antibody avidity. An antibody concentration of at least 12 µg/ml was required for optimum reactivity of the two monoclonal antibodies tested. A simple calculation of division of the titre by the antibody concentration provided a relatively simple means of establishing the reactivity performance of the antibody and correlated well with ability to detect weak D (D^u) cells. A characteristic variable reduction in reaction strength with all the IgG anti-D was observed with weak D cells. The IgM antibodies, except the high avidity RUM-1, T3D2T6, D9A4 and BS226, performed poorly in detecting weak D. The majority of the IgM antibodies tested reacted with R(0)^Har cells, while only one IgG antibody was positive.

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