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Rh disease
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Rh disease

Rh disease (also Rhesus disease or Morbus haemolyticus neonatorum) is a condition that occurs when an Rh negative mother has given birth to an Rh positive baby and subsequently becomes pregnant with an Rh positive child. During the first pregnancy and the act of birth a minimal amount of the baby's blood entered the mother's body. Since she is Rh negative, her body immediately produced antibodies (IgG type) against the Rhesus antigens on her baby's erythrocytess - and with the second pregnancy the problem becomes acute, as the IgGs are able to pass through the placenta into the embryo's body, where they lead to an agglutination and destruction of erythrocytes.

The common means to prevent this harmful disease is to vaccinate the mother immediately after the birth of her first child: she is treated with anti-Rh antibodies, so that the foreign erythrocytes are destroyed before her immune system can discover them.

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