Types of Blood Groups

What are the different types of blood groups? A blood group is a classification of blood based on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of red blood cells. Depending on the blood group system, the antigens may be proteins, carbohydrates, glycoproteins or glycolipids. A fact that should not be overlooked when discussing the issue of blood groups is that the blood groups are usually inherited from both parents. The international society of blood transfusion has identified 32 human blood group systems. Some blood types are associated with inheritance of other diseases. Take for example, the knell antigen which is usually associated with the McLeod syndrome. The ABO system is the most commonly used type of blood group systems in the world.

ABO group classification

This classification identifies 4 types of blood groups which are: A, B, AB and O. Blood group A and B usually are caused by a number of antigens which provoke immune responses on the surface of red blood cells. The DNA controls their production. Blood type A results when N-acetygalactosamine is placed by the enzyme type A transferase on the H substance. Blood type B results when galactose is attached to H by type B transfrase.

Blood type O is as a result of a simple point mutation that in a bigger way reduced or destroyed the ability of type Atransfrase to attach the N acetylgalactosamine to the H substance.

It is important to note that if you have blood group A, you cannot receive blood that is in group B. Also, you cannot receive blood from a person with blood group B if you have a blood group A. However if you have blood group AB, you can receive the blood from people who are in either blood group as it will not create antibodies for any of them.

A person with blood group O can donate blood to any person who has any of the 3 blood groups mentioned above. This shows the importance of the awareness of a person’s type of blood group.

Rhesus blood group classification

The rhesus blood grouping system is one of the other commonly used blood grouping systems in the world. This system identifies two types of blood groups. These are Rhesus negative and rhesus positive.It consists of 50 defined blood group antigens. 5 of them are: D, P, c and E which are the most important. A person’s Rh status is listed as negative or positive. If you have a rhesus- blood, your body may form antibodies against the Rh+ blood and destroy it.

If a man has rhesus negative blood group and a woman has rhesus positive blood group, it is 50% probability that the baby born will be rhesus positive.

Another instance that could occur is when during pregnancy a child’s blood and mother mixes, the mothers immune system will start to produce resistance against the Rh factor. This will absolutely lead to the destruction of the red Blood Cells.

For the above reasons, it is important for a person to know the type of his blood group. This is because blood transfusion is a very important undertaking in today’s health sector. Blood transfusion occurs when one is need of blood either as a result of an accident. As seen above, if the person is given blood from a person with the opposite blood group, then it will be a health hazard to him. To know your blood group, you should visit a local clinic and get tested. It actually takes less that minute and it is mutual since you never know. Maybe in the next day, it will be you in the need of that blood.