Immunological aspects of human reproduction: report of a WHO Scientific Group.
A WHO Scientific Group on Immunological Aspects of Human Reproduction met in Geneva October 4-9, 1965. Topics of discussion included: 1) immunology of human gonadotropins; 2) sperm and seminal fluid; 3) blood group antigens and human reproduction; and 4) maternal-fetal immunological interactions. It was concluded that further investigations are required to study: 1) the correlation between physiocochemical, biological, and immunological criteria for the purity of antigens concerned in human reproduction; 2) the chemical structure of hormones concerned with reproduction, with special reference to the biologically active sites and the nature of antibodies against these active sites; 3) production of antibodies to the gonadotropins by the use of adjuvants and/or chemically modified gonadotropins; 4) modification of hormones from other species to render them active but non-antigenic in man; 5) the use of immunological methods for assisting in the detection of the time of ovulation: these could aid in the control of fertility and in the treatment of infertility; 6) the development of strains of animals of high immunological competence; 7) characterization of the male antigens responsible for various immunological phenomena in males; 8) characterization of male antigens responsible for inducing circulating antibodies and reducing the fertility of immunized females; 9) the nature and biological significance of the antagglutinins; 10) possible ways of interfering with the transmission of antibodies in man; and 11) the possible occurrence of specific antitrophoblastic antibodies in pre and postpartum. Other research needs are also outlined.