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Assessment of feline blood for transfusion
  1. D. Barfield, BSc, BVSc, MRCVS and
  2. S. Adamantos, BVSc, CertVA, DACVECC, MRCVS
  1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  1. e-mail: dbarfield{at}

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IN a paper summarised on p 352 of this issue, Juvet and others (2011) describe the blood types of 176 cats in and around the Dublin area of Ireland as well as the prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV).

The blood types of cats is a subject that has attracted significant study since Holmes first described two types in the Manchester area of the UK in the 1950s (Holmes 1950). The information gleaned from these studies is of great importance to the veterinary practitioner. The importance of blood typing feline patients for AB blood grouping before transfusion cannot be stressed enough due to the risk of fatal transfusion reactions that can occur in type B cats due to the presence of preformed anti-A antibodies. Previous studies have identified not only geographical variation, but also breed variation and have demonstrated a lack of predictability of feline blood types. Interestingly, recent studies have also identified an increased incidence of type B cats compared with older studies. Geographically, it is thought that the basis of different blood types in the AB group system is most likely to be related to the blood type of cats introduced to a certain area as a result of ‘the founder effect’. This is clearly demonstrated with the introduction of certain breeds from a single blood type to different regions, for example, Siamese and Bengal cats in the UK (Gunn-Moore and others 2009). This is possibly the …

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