(abbreviation Rh factor)
An antigen occurring on the red blood cells of many humans (around 85 percent) and some other primates. It is particularly important as a cause of hemolytic disease of the newborn and of incompatibility in blood transfusions.
- The discovery of the rhesus factor in human blood by American scientists also had important implications for blood grouping and, ultimately, for the development of human genetics.
- Anti-D injections are used to counteract the rhesus factor if it proves necessary after a blood test.
- The rhesus factor protein is the next most important one after the A and B proteins.
1940s: Rhesus from rhesus monkey, in which the antigen was first observed.
For editors and proofreaders
Syllabification: Rhe·sus fac·tor
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