Date of Award

Spring 1960

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Donald Waldhalm


In 1944 Race and Wierner made a valuable contribution to the field of medicine with their Independent observations of incomplete antibodies. However, these brilliant observations would be of little practical use to the medicine world without a reliable test to detect the presence of these antibodies. The only test which is in common use in laboratories today for the detection of these incomplete antibodies is the Antiglobulin or Coombs Teat. Over a number of years it has proved itself to be that test which doctors and technicians alike rely on for the detection of erythroblastotic babies, the Du Factor, rare antibodies and several other situations which commonly occur having their basis in incomplete antibodies.

In this thesis the author has attempted to present a brief history of the findings which preceded the discovery of the Antiglobulin Test, the methods of the test which have been found by experience to be the most accurate, false negative and positive results which may be obtained and the practical clinical application of the test as it is used today. Experimental work has been completed to determine to how great a degree the technical factors (i. e. timing, centrifugation, etc.) can influence or alter the final results of the test. When the Coombs Test was first discovered in 1945, it was hailed as a major step forward in technical progress. It is the opinion of the author that in years to come it will prove to be an even more valuable tool in the laboratory than it is today.