The transfusion of whole blood in elasmobranchs could provide cardiovascular support following hemorrhage. Since donor and recipient compatibility is not known, a technique was established to allow cross matching of red blood cells and serum in sharks. Cross matching was carried out among 19 individuals from seven species: the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), sandtiger shark (Carcharias taurus), white-spotted bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium plagiosum), brown-banded bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum), zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum), and spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus). Negative cross-matches showed no agglutination or hemolysis, suggesting that donor and recipient would be compatible. Cross-matches between conspecifics were all negative (sandbar, sandtiger, nurse, and white-spotted bamboo sharks). All cross-matches between sandbar and sandtiger sharks were also negative. Positive cross-matches consisted of agglutination or hemolysis of red blood cells, suggesting that the donor and recipient would be incompatible. Strong positive reactions occurred, for example, with red blood cells from sandtiger and sandbar sharks and serum from nurse sharks. Cross matching should be carried out in elasmobranchs prior to any blood transfusion.
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