Antibody Detection and Identification

(based on 1909 customer ratings)

Author: Margaret Alba, DOM, CLS(NCA), BB(ASCP)
Reviewer: Jessica M. Mantini, MS, MLS(ASCP)

Do you find detective work exciting? Do you want to improve those skills? Our Antibody Detection and Identification course will guide you through the processes that will help you to expose the antibody that is the culprit. Antibodies must be identified so that appropriate blood products are selected for transfusion and the risk of adverse reaction is minimized. Clinically significant antibodies are capable of causing transfusion reactions, hemolytic disease of the newborn and in severe cases, death. Learning how to be a skilled detective is essential so that you, the clinical laboratory scientist, can prevent those situations from occurring.

Continuing Education Credits


  • Discuss methods that are used to facilitate antibody identification.
  • Discuss the reactions that would be seen on an antibody panel if any of the following antibodies are present: homozygous, heterozygous, antibody to high-incidence antigen or low-incidence antigen, and an antibody exhibiting dosage.
  • Outline the process that should be followed to identify the unknown antibodies that are present in the given case studies.
  • Assess antibody panels to determine if any of the following are present: Multiple antibodies, cold antibodies, or warm autoantibodies.
  • Determine how to interpret the strengths of panel reactions, how to choose selected cell panels, and when to run enzyme panels.

Course Outline

  • Introduction
      • Course Introduction
      • Antibody Detection and Identification
  • Methods used for Antibody Detection and Identification
      • Indirect Antiglobulin Test (IAT)
      • Test Methods
      • Significance of Reactions at Different Phases of Testing
      • Products Used to Facilitate Antibody Identification
      • Effect of Enzymes and Dithiothreitol (DTT)
      • Clinically significant antibodies react BEST at which phase of testing?
  • Antibody Detection and Identification
      • Initial Steps for Identifying an Antibody
      • Initial Observations of Antibody Panel
      • Rule-Out Procedures
      • Rule-Out Procedures, continued
      • Ruling Out Example
      • Ruling Out Example, continued
      • Ruling Out Example, continued
      • Case Study 1: Immune Alloantibody
      • Case Study 1: Immune Alloantibody, continued
      • Case Study 1: Immune Alloantibody, continuedUsing the information from the case study on the previous two pages, what antibody matches the pattern of ...
      • Rule Out Procedures: Selecting Additional Rule-Out Cells
      • Rule-Out Procedures: Selecting Additional Rule-Out Cells-- Example
      • Based on initial serologic testing, a patient is hypothesized to have an anti-K, but anti-E cannot be ruled out. In this case, which of the following ...
      • Picking Selected Panel Cells Conservatively
      • Rule-Out Procedure Summary Guidelines
      • These antibody panel results were obtained on a patient sample. Which of the following antibodies could account for all of the reactions? (A PDF of th...
  • Differentiate between naturally occurring and immune antibodies
      • Naturally Occurring Antibodies vs. Immune Antibodies
      • Example Of A Naturally Occurring Antibody
      • Example of Clinically Significant Immune Antibody
      • Alloantibodies vs. Autoantibodies
      • Naturally occurring antibodies may be due to exposure to which of the following?
  • Advanced Antibody ID
      • When to Suspect Multiple Antibodies
      • Example of Dosage and/or Multiple Antibodies Influencing the Strength of Reactions
      • Multiple Antibodies: Example
      • Multiple Antibodies Example, continued: Selected Cell Rule-Out Panel
      • Multiple Antibodies Example, continued: Explanation of Varying Strengths of Reactions
      • When to Suspect an Autoantibody
      • Cold Antibodies
      • Cold Autoantibody Example
      • Example Of A Warm Autoantibody
      • Is It a Cold or a Warm Autoantibody?
      • What is an advanced technique that can help to determine the identity of other clinically significant antibodies that are present if a patient has an ...
  • Antibodies to High Incidence and Low Incidence Antigens
      • Antibodies to Low- and High-Incidence Antigens
      • Examples of Antibodies to Low-Incidence Antigens
      • Examples of Antibodies to High-Incidence Antigens
  • Conclusion
      • Conclusion
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Intermediate

Intended Audience: Clinical laboratory technologists, technicians, and pathologists. This course is also appropriate for clinical laboratory science students and pathology residents.
Author information: Margaret Alba, DOM, CLS(NCA), BB(ASCP) is a Lecturer in Clinical Immunohematology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a Medical Technologist at Tricore-University Hospital, also located in Albuquerque. She holds a Masters in Oriental Medicine from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine and a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Reviewer information: Jessica M. Mantini, MS, MLS(ASCP) is a clinical instructor of Immunohematology at the Ohio State University School of Allied Medical Professions and the Program Director for the Medical Laboratory Science Division. She holds an MS in Allied Health Management from Ohio State University.
Course description: This course will take you through several methods that can be used in the process of identifying an antibody in transfusion medicine. Four case studies are presented that take you step-by-step through these procedures and provide you with appropriate panel results.

Just one user? Visit for individual subscriptions.
This course is part of:
Example Ruling Out 6
Ruling Out 1
gel card
Antibody screen cells