Talk:Rh blood group system

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"Weak D"[edit]

I can attempt to add some information about this phenomenon, but it should probably be addressed by an MD or an MT/SBB (or equivalent). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Indeed! This section needs to be re-worked. "The testing is difficult, since using different anti-D reagents, especially the older polyclonal reagents, may give different results." Most laboratories are using monoclonal murine reagents, and many have moved to "gel" technology which is much more specific. Give it a try! --BloodGuru (talk) 00:28, 23 May 2008 (UTC) MT (ASCP), MSIII


Should the rhesus factor page be merged with blood type? Snowman 17:26, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Discussion continued at Talk:Blood type#Merge with Rhesus factor. --David Iberri (talk) 17:32, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I anticipate that the Rhesus factor page will be superceded by the Rhesus blood group system page. The Rhesus factor page becoming a redirect. Snowman 12:58, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
All above is superceeded as Rhesus factor page is now a redirect to Rhesus blood group system page. Snowman 12:58, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I feel that the template should be changed - Rhesus system (or rhesus blood group system) featuring insead of rhesus factor. Snowman 12:13, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I have redirected the relevant talk page, as well. I like the new page, good work. InvictaHOG 12:45, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Rhesus genotypes table[edit]

Should one of the heading on this table be Rh status and not Rh (D) status? Snowman 08:45, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

No. The term "Rh status" is avoided, because it is ambiguous. The term "Rh positive" was previously used to indicate that any "capital letter" antigen i.e. C, D or E was present, but that usage has been abandoned. --vibo56 talk 10:23, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
It might be worth having that historical aspect on nomeclature in the article to save confusion. Snowman 14:15, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
There's lots of obsolete nomenclature within the Rh system. The original definition of Rh+ was Landsteiner and Wiener's, which turned out to be related to LW, and not to what is called Rh today. Later (in some countries, possibly not worldwide, I need to check sources), it was used as mentioned above. I think it's best to present current nomenclature only. The history of Rh nomenclature could easily fill a page on its own, but I don't really think it's worth it. vibo56 talk 18:09, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
After posting the above, I saw that we do have some history in the Rh nomenclature section. That section could need some work, I'll have a look into it when I'm back from vacation. vibo56 talk 18:18, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

The same table indicates Cde/Cde to be Rh positive, should it indicate Rh negative?G Snowman 13:51, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

There were several errors in the table. I hope I managed to get it right! vibo56 talk 18:09, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
 :-) Snowman 21:04, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I have done some work on the table layout, but I think that it aught to be possible to apply a style in a less verbose way to a whole column at a time. Snowman 14:15, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

"American Black"???, "Native American"??? This sounds like racism! Does anybody agrees with me? -- 09:52, 6 September 2007 (UTC) Seriously? Would you also like us to remove "male" and "female" from the tables as it sounds like gender-bias?Siege919 (talk) 01:22, 13 February 2010 (UTC) The whole ethnic labeling is very much geared towards an American audience. The use of the ethnic label "Caucasian" is rather confusing for non-American readers. Just say "European". Another thing, the high incidence of Rhesus negative among the Basque population ought to be further explained. Does it imply that the origin of the Rhesus negative gene should be sought in the southwest of Europe?? If so, wouldn't also a relative high percentage of North Africans have this gene as well?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Not seeing as the Basque language is completely isolated neither indo-european or afro-asiatic, it could be assumed their culture was quarantined with most likely only a filtered intermixing with surrounding peoples coming through. (talk) 10:04, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Just because a certain trait is common in a certain community (the Basque community in this case), does not imply that it originated over there. Rather, it's more likely because, it might have afforded a certain protective value to the ultimate phenotype (like how it is for sickle cell disease/trait and falciparum malaria.

In fact, talking of origins, it is explicitly mentioned in the article that the antigen was first found in macaques, so possibly, the gene traces its origin before the advent of humans. Ketan Panchal, MBBS (talk) 07:01, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

What about listing some of the rarer haplotypes eg R0 r' r'' Rz and ry - some are clinically relavent eg R0 in black African populations.


It seems like the entry could be reorganized a bit for clarity, in particular the significance/preference of notation forms seemes to be featured too prominently. --Belg4mit 00:06, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I hope that you can make some improvements to the article page. Snowman 00:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

testing for Rh factor[edit]

Would appreciate it if there was a comment on how to test an individual's Rh factor. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:34, 10 May 2007 (UTC).

Blood for transfusion is routinely tested for D by the same sorts of reagents that are used to test for the ABO system. The test is simple; mix cells from the unknown (patient or donor) in a test tube with known anti-D and look for a reaction. The same process works with almost any other antigen, though some require incubations to show properly.Somedumbyankee (talk) 23:12, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


Would be appreciated if someone would list the available transfusion matrix (i.e. O- is universal donor) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:45, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, ABO is the only system where a matrix really applies, most of the other blood groups require an understanding of immunology and the relevant antigen to make a determination on what can and cannot be transfused. Intentional transfusions of Rh positive blood to Rh negative recipients are not terribly unusual, especially in trauma situations (Rh negative blood, especially O-, is often in short supply and hospitals stock limited amounts). Unlike the rapid and disastrous results associated with an ABO mismatch, most other "incorrect" blood transfusions will not result in a hemolytic transfusion reaction unless the recipient already has an antibody from a previous transfusion or pregnancy.Somedumbyankee (talk) 23:00, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Moreover, I believe, transfusing Rh positive blood shouldn't cause much trouble, except for if there's a severe graft-versus-host reaction. Am I right?
Ketan Panchal, MBBS (talk) 07:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Transfusing RH positive blood would cause trouble in an Rh negative patient by causing them to form an Anti D antibody. Once that is formed, only Rh negative blood can be safely transfused into the Rh negative patient. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Punkrokgrl78 (talkcontribs) 01:11, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Rz ?[edit]

Anybody know anything about R
, and how it relates to Rh? I know from a fictional reference and some real online article titles that it is rare and/or extinct and found in Native Americans, but that's it. —MJBurrage(TC) 03:12, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I found the article alright[edit]

I don't know why is there so much talk about merging the article, and organizational problem; I found the article quite alright, in fact, good. Any way, I would like to draw attention to the following paragraph:

"The Wiener system used the Rh-Hr nomenclature. This system theorized that there was one gene at a single locus on each chromosome of the pair which controls production of multiple antigens. This concept postulated that a gene R gives rise to the “blood factors” Rho, rh’, and hr” and the gene r will produce hr’ and hr”."

Are the "gene" in the above paragraph supposed to be "alleles", in which case, the whole thing would make better sense? I was, in fact, by myself going to change that to allele, but thought, it's better if I allow others to approve of my contention.

Ketan Panchal, MBBS (talk) 07:22, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

A few doubts[edit]

Kindly see the table below:

Rhesus genotypes
Genotype symbol Rh(D) status
cde/cde rr Negative
CDe/cde R1r Positive
CDe/CDe R1R1 Positive
cDE/cde R2r Positive
CDe/cDE R1R2 Positive
cDE/cDE R2R2 Positive

Is it possible to have a genotype like Cde/Cde; cdE/cdE; or Cde/cdE? If yes, is there a particular reason, they don't find a mention in the table? I understand that, there phenotypes, if possibly expressed, will be Rh-negative. Is this so because, the expression of C and E genes is closely linked to the expression of the D gene? Are the alleles c and e, as against, C and E, recessive in any way?

  • Does RHCE have four possible different alleles like CE, Ce, cE and ce?
  • How come there are 43 different Rh antigens?
  • "Other Rh group antigens"

43 other Rh group antigens have been described, but they are either much less frequently encountered or are rarely clinically significant. Each is given a number, though the highest assigned number (Rh56 or CENR) is not an accurate reflection of the antigens encountered since many (e.g. Rh38) have been combined, reassigned to other groups, or otherwise removed."--Are these other genes apart from the above mentioned RHD and RHCE genes, or different alleles of the same genes. If they are different genes on different loci, why are they known as the same Rh antigens, and not some other antigens?

Ketan Panchal, MBBS (talk) 07:07, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I found an article with more phenotypes and added it to the article.
From comparing the two tables one can see:
cDe = R0
CDe = R1
cDE = R2
cde = r
Cde = r′
cdE = r″
CdE = not listed
However I do not feel qualified to combine the tables, nor am I 100% sure of the above, it just seems obvious (in context). —MJBurrage(TC) 15:38, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Lots of detail added to the article since my comment, notably CdE being rY, which makes the correlation between notion for "R" and "r" more obvious.
cDe = R0 CDe = R1 cDE = R2 CDE = RZ
cde = r Cde = r′ cdE = r″ CdE = rY
MJBurrage(TC) 00:00, 13 November 2015 (UTC)


Wow guys! Thanks so much for this entry. I finally understand!


In regards to Haemolytic Disease, if an Rh positive mother and an Rh positive father have two children, and the older child is Rh positive, does that mean that their younger child is Rh positive as well?--Just James T/C 06:59, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Never mind, that question doesn't make sense.--Just James T/C 09:47, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Not entirely, but there is a sort of question in there that does have an answer. If someone is RhD+ that means they are either homozygous (RhD+/RhD+) or heterozygous (RhD+/RhD-).
  • If the mother and father are both homozygous RhD+, all their children will be homozygous RhD+.
  • If one parent is homozygous RhD+ and the other heterozygous RhD+, each child stands a 1/2 chance of being heterozygous RhD+ and 1/2 chance of being homozygous RhD+.
  • If both parents are heterozygous RhD+, each child stands a 1/2 chance of being heterozygous RhD+. 1/4 chance of being homozygous RhD+ and a 1/4 chance of being homozygous RhD- (negative).
For more information on how to work these frequencies out, I suggest looking up Punnett squares. In any case, with the mother being RhD+ there will not be Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn due to anti-D antibodies. However, it can be caused by other antibodies such as anti-c and anti-K (Kell) but cases of this are much less frequent. Magma (talk) 12:10, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

It's Rh not Rhesus![edit]

This is a common misconception See for example Geoff Daniels at —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:09, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

That's completely right, I started correcting the Blood type article and now also this one. Feel free also to edit. --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 04:19, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Laymans terms[edit]

I can see the section 'Rhesus Factor' attempts to provide a simple explanation however it is still heavily laden with medical and bio science terms. Could someone add a less technical summary so that those reading the article without a degree in genetics or medicine can still gain a basic understanding the term. (talk) 04:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

This article should be renamed[edit]

Since the blood group system is called Rh and not Rhesus (it was a scientific error that lead to this wrong name in the first case), the present article should be renamed to Rh blood group system. Unfortunately, I do not know how to do this myself. The misnomer Rhesus blood group system should redirect to the new name. Thank you. --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 04:22, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, I found the way how to rename an article in WIKI:HELP. I moved the article as mentioned there to the new name. Also the redirect was automatically created. Unfortunately, I did not realize that there was a previous redirect from Rh blood group system to Rhesus blood group system which created a double redirect. I would be grateful, if a more experienced editor could delete the old redirect from Rh blood group system to Rhesus blood group system. There should be just one redirect from Rhesus blood group system to Rh blood group system. Thanks a lot. --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 06:26, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
As a temporary fix, I renamed the redirect in Rh blood group system to Rh blood group system itself, which now works for both Rh and Rhesus. However, an admin may solve it more cleanly by deleting the Rh blood group system redirect page without deleting the current page with the actual content. rfd submitted. Thanks. --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 06:50, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Rh blood group system listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Rh blood group system. Since you had some involvement with the Rh blood group system redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion (if you have not already done so). Firefly's luciferase (talk) 07:10, 6 December 2009 (UTC)


There is a lot of confusion on the terminology. Please consider in edits:

Gene RHD → protein RhD → antigen D (number 1 of the Rh system; and variants)
Gene RHCE → protein RhCE → antigens C, c, E, e and other variants
Thank you. --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 05:14, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Section Origin of RHD polymorphism[edit]

This section in the article just bases on the 2 references cited in the section above this one. Please add secondary sources to confirm this original research for the encyclopedia. Thanks. --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 05:31, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Rh phenotypes and genotypes[edit]

As several people have mentioned above, the previous table listing phenotypes and genotypes was missing a lot of data. I've completed the list with every possible combination of haplotypes (excluding variants like CW etc.)

I noticed the table underneath it actually only references people in Turkey, so I've edited that in to make it clear how limited an area the data relates to.

Ideally I feel that the two tables should be combined, with a worldwide distribution rather than a single country. I know that there are differing racial distributions (for example the R0 haplotype is much more common in people of African origin than those of Caucasian origin) so it might be worth adding several columns to the end, one for each statistically relevant geographical variation. With that in place, I don't see a need to have a second table showing the differences between donated and required phenotypes in a single country. Magma (talk) 11:21, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

I've found a few references to Rh genotype frequencies but the only extensive one covering all genotypes was in a 1948 paper that extrapolated the expected frequencies from the known haplotype frequencies in the UK. This obviously isn't representative of worldwide distributions, but given the variation in frequency worldwide I think this is the best that can be achieved. One study I read from India showed marked differences in Rh genotype distributions from region to region within the one country, so any international comparison in the table would quickly become cumbersome. A comprehensive worldwide study would only be of academic interest with no practical application and I doubt it would be performed. Magma (talk) 11:58, 14 November 2010 (UTC)


Sections of this article are copied verbatim from — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Seems like it. It was added two years ago, almost identical copy of source material. Then slightly edited to remove 'you' a week later. I'll go ahead and remove it from the lead. (If there is more copied text, please note it here or go ahead and remove it.) If someone would like to write original/paraphrased text to replace the copied text, please go ahead. Thanks, 15zulu (talk) 05:13, 14 May 2016 (UTC)