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Coombs' test

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A test for antiglobulins in the red cell applying the so-called Coomb’s sera; used in diagnosing various hemolytic anemias. Considered to be one of the most reliable test for compatibility. Coombs' test is really two tests, the direct Coombs test (also known as direct antiglobulin test or DAT), and the indirect Coombs test (also known as indirect antiglobulin test or IAT). Historically, it was done in test tubes. Today, it is commonly done using microarray and gel technology.

The test was first described in 1943 by the Cambridge immunologists Robert Royston Amos Coombs and his two senior collegaues Arthur E. Mourant and Robert R. Race.


    R. R. A. Coombs, A. E. Mourant, R. R.Race:
    Detection of weak and «incomplete» Rh agglutinins: a new test.
    The Lancet, London, 1945, 2: 15-16.
  • R. R. Coombs:
    A new test for the detection of weak and «incomplete» Rh agglutinins.
    British Journal of Experimental Pathology, 1945; 26: 255-266.

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