Experimental evidence recently developed leads to the conclusion that there are at least eighteen heritable blood groups in domestic cattle. Indeed, Ferguson1 of the University of Wisconsin Department of Veterinary Science believes there are as many groups in cattle as there are bovine chromosomes.
Following Landsteiner's demonstration in 1900 of incompatibilities in blood transfusion in man, numerous attempts were made to determine whether similar blood groupings occur in domestic animals. Ottenberg and Friedman,2 for example, showed that relatively sluggish intergroup isoagglutination does occur in cattle. Fishbein3 confirmed this observation and concluded from his more extensive series of tests that bovine isoagglutinins are so irregular in titer and distribution as not to allow definite blood grouping. The practical importance of blood incompatibility in veterinary science was shown by Panisset and Verge,4 who found that serious toxic reactions were occasionally produced in therapeutic blood transfusions in cattle.