December 3, 2022

Blood Group Test Guide: Here’s The List Of Different Types Of Blood Groups

Blood contains antigens and antibodies. Based on their characteristics, the blood groups are classified. Antigens are molecules that can be either proteins or sugars, present on the surface of Red Blood Cells(RBCs). Blood groups can be of different types, and a person’s blood can bear a certain type of blood group only. It is important to know about the different types of blood groups as it will help us in medical procedures like blood transfusion and pregnancy.

During a blood transfusion, the blood group of the donor and the recipient must match. If they do not match, the recipient’s blood develops antibodies that will fight the donor’s blood causing a toxic reaction that can be fatal. Blood transfusion is a common practice in everyone’s life, and thus it is necessary to know about the different types of blood groups. If you are not certain about what your blood group is, you can do a blood group test and know your blood group.

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Types Of Blood Groups

The International Society of Blood Transfusion has recently acknowledged 33 blood systems. Many new types of antigens are identified. The ABO and RH systems are the most prominent blood group systems and are involved in most of the blood group tests.

ABO System

The ABO blood group system is the most important of all for blood transfusion and transplantation. Every person develops anti-A and anti-B antibodies significantly from 6 years of age in their serum. The four blood groups under the ABO system are:

Blood group A

RBCs contain antigen A, and blood plasma contains antibody B.

Blood group B

RBCs contain antigen B, and blood plasma contains antibody A.

Blood group O

No antigens are present. Both anti-A and anti-B antibodies are present in the plasma.

Blood group AB

Contains both antigens A and B, but none of the anti-A and anti-B antibodies are present.

Rhesus system

The Rh system is the second most important blood group system. There are 50 blood group antigens under the Rh system. Of these, only five antigen types are important. The red blood cell surface may or may not contain an Rh factor or immunogenic D-antigen. If the Rh factor is present, you are RhD positive; else, RhD negative. Thus including the ABO system and the Rh system, there are eight important blood groups.

  1. An RhD positive.
  2. An RhD negative.
  3. B RhD positive.
  4. B RhD negative.
  5. O RhD positive.
  6. O RhD negative.
  7. AB RhD positive.
  8. AB RhD negative.

The rarest blood group is AB-negative.

Unlike the ABO system, the blood does not consist of anti-Rh antibodies when D-negative RBCs are present unless it is exposed to Rh-positive blood. This can happen when an Rh-negative pregnant mother carries an Rh-positive foetus. Then antibodies can cross the placenta. This can be quite risky for both the mother and the child, so doctors treat it with prophylaxis.

Universal Donor

O negative blood neither has A, B antigens nor has RhD factor. So this blood can be donated to a person of any blood group as antibodies won’t react to this blood group. Thus, a person with O negative blood group is a universal donor.

Rh-negative blood can be donated to a person with Rh-negative or positive blood. Other blood groups have to match for both the donor and the recipient to be transfused; otherwise, it can be fatal. That’s why you need to do blood group tests if you are not sure about your blood group.

A blood group test is always done before a blood transfusion or transplant or during pregnancy. The blood sample is tested with three different substances- A antibodies, B antibodies, and Rh factor. If it is not compatible, the blood will clump. This way, the blood group is ascertained.