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April 1963

Gastrointestinal Absorption of Isohemagglutinin

Author Affiliations

J. M. Bowman, M.D., Manitoba Clinic, 790 Sherbrook St., Winnipeg 2, Man., Canada.; The Rh Laboratory and Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;105(4):352-357. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080040354005

Although 4 recent studies 1-4 have shown that the newborn and the neonate are capable of absorbing small amounts of fed anti-A and anti-Rh antibodies, this finding and its significance, as far as the breast feeding of erythroblastotic infants is concerned, are still disputed. Boorman et al.5 were unable to find evidence of antibody absorption, probably because of the small amounts of antibody fed. Despite their negative findings they advise the boiling of milk of sensitized mothers for the first few weeks, in order to destroy any isohemagglutinin present in the milk. In Winnipeg, Rh-sensitized mothers have been allowed to breast feed their erythroblastotic infants if they so desired, and adverse effects have not been noted. Since milk from these mothers often does contain Rh antibody, it was decided to feed a small group of newborn babies large amounts of anti-A and anti-D isohemagglutinin. Because antibody absorption has only

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