Blood group systems

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Blood group (or blood type) is a term used to clasify blood based on the presence or absence of a specific antigen on red blood cells surface. According to the International Society of Blood Transfusion, there are about 30 human blood group systems recognized so far [1].


ABO blood group system

The most common blood group system being used nowadays is ABO blood group system. In this system, there are 4 classification of blood types. They are group A, B, AB and O. These groups are classified according to the presence or absence of ABO antigen.

Blood group Antigen(s) present on erythrocytes Antibodies present in plasma Genotype(s)
A A antigen Anti-B AA or AO
B B antigen Anti-A BB or BO
AB A and B antigens none AB
O none Anti-A and B OO

Rh blood group system

Rh blood group system is the second most important system in determining blood groups. It is based on the presence or absence of D antigen on the red blood cells surface. If a blood transfusion containing Rh-positive blood is given to a Rh-negative individual, who does have the Rh antigen, their immune system will attack the blood cells as it will be seen as a danger and foreign. This leads to blood cells being destroyed[2].

See also


  1. Table of blood group systems, ISBT (August 2008). Retrieved on 15 November 2010.
  2. [cited 18/10/16]

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