Blood type (non-human)

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Animal erythrocytes have cell surface antigens that undergo polymorphism and give rise to blood types. Antigens from the human ABO blood group system are also found in apes and Old World monkeys, and the system traces back to the origin of hominoids.[1] Other animal blood sometimes agglutinates (to varying levels of intensity) with human blood group reagents, but the structure of the blood group antigens in animals is not always identical to those typically found in humans. The classification of most animal blood groups therefore uses different blood typing systems to those used for classification of human blood.

Simian blood groups[edit]

Two categories of blood groups, human-type and simian-type, have been found in apes and monkeys, and can be tested by methods established for grouping human blood.

Rhesus blood group[edit]

The rhesus system is named after the rhesus monkey, following experiments by Karl Landsteiner and Alexander S. Wiener, which showed that rabbits, when immunised with rhesus monkey red cells, produce an antibody that also agglutinates the red blood cells of many humans.

Chimpanzee blood group systems[edit]

Data on blood groups of chimpanzees, baboons, and macaques. Two complex chimpanzee blood group systems, V-A-B-D and R-C-E-F systems, proved to be counterparts of the human MNS and Rh-Hr blood group systems, respectively. Two blood group systems have been defined in Old World monkeys: the Drh system of macaques and the Bp system of baboons, both linked by at least one species shared by either of the blood group systems.[2]

Canine blood groups[edit]

Over 13 canine blood groups have been described. Eight DEA (dog erythrocyte antigen) types are recognized as international standards.[3][4][5] Of these DEA types, DEA 4 and DEA 6 appear on the red blood cells of ~98% of dogs. Dogs with only DEA 4 or DEA 6 can thus serve as blood donors for the majority of the canine population. Any of these DEA types may stimulate an immune response in a recipient of a blood transfusion, but reactions to DEA 1.1+ are the most severe.

Dogs that are DEA 1.1 positive (33 to 45% of the population) are universal recipients - that is, they can receive blood of any type without expectation of a life-threatening hemolytic transfusion reaction. Dogs that are DEA 1.1 negative are universal donors. Blood from DEA 1.1 positive dogs should never be transfused into DEA 1.1 negative dogs. If it is the dog's first transfusion the red cells transfused will have a shortened life due to the formation of alloantibodies to the cells themselves and the animal will forever be sensitized to DEA 1.1 positive blood. If it is a second such transfusion, life-threatening conditions will follow within hours. In addition, these alloantibodies will be present in a female dog's milk (colostrum) and adversely affect the health of DEA 1.1 negative puppies.[6]

Other than DEA blood types, Dal is another blood type commonly known in dogs.

Feline blood groups[edit]

The commonly recognized system of feline blood designates cats as A, B, or AB. The vast majority of cats in the United States are Type A, but the percentage of Type B cats increases in other countries, such as Australia.[7][8] In a study conducted in England, 87.1% of non-pedigree cats were type A, while only 54.6% of pedigree cats were type A.[9] Type A and B cats have naturally occurring alloantibodies to the opposite blood type, although the reaction of Type B cats to Type A blood is more severe than vice versa. Based on this, all cats should have a simple blood typing test done to determine their blood type prior to a transfusion or breeding to avoid the haemolytic disease (or neonatal isoerythrolysis). It is also important to check donor cats for FeLV/FIV status.

Equine blood groups[edit]

There are eight major recognized blood groups in horses. Seven of them, A, C, D, K, P, Q, and U, are internationally recognized, with an eighth, T, which is primarily used in research.[9] Each blood group has at least two allelic factors (for example, the A blood group has a, b, c, d, e, f, and g), which can be combined in all combinations (Aa, Afg, Abedg, etc.), to make many different alleles. This means that horses can have around 400,000 allelic combinations, allowing blood testing to be used as an accurate method of identifying a horse or determining parentage. Unlike humans, horses do not naturally produce antibodies against red blood cell antigens that they do not possess; this only occurs if they are somehow exposed to a different blood type, such as through blood transfusion of transplacental hemorrhage during parturition.[10]

Breeding a mare to a stallion with a different blood type, usually Aa or Qa blood, risks neonatal isoerythrolysis if the foal inherits the blood type of the stallion. This can also occur if a mare is bred to a jack, due to donkey factor. This immune-mediated disease is life-threatening and often requires transfusion.

Ideally, cross-matching should be performed prior to transfusion, or a universal donor may be used. The ideal universal whole blood donor is a non-thoroughbred gelding that is Aa, Ca, and Qa negative. If this is not available, a gelding, preferably of the same breed as the patient, may be used as a donor, and cross-matching may be crudely accessed by mixing donor serum with patient blood. If the mixture agglutinates, the donor blood contains antibodies against the blood of the patient, and should not be used.

Bovine blood groups[edit]

The polymorphic systems in cattle include the A, B, C, F, J, L, M, S, and Z polymorphisms.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Segurel, L.; Thompson, E. E.; Flutre, T.; Lovstad, J.; Venkat, A.; Margulis, S. W.; Moyse, J.; Ross, S.; Gamble, K.; Sella, G.; Ober, C.; Przeworski, M. (22 October 2012). "The ABO blood group is a trans-species polymorphism in primates". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (45): 18493–18498. doi:10.1073/pnas.1210603109. PMC 3494955Freely accessible. PMID 23091028. 
  2. ^ Socha WW (August 1980). "Blood groups of apes and monkeys: current status and practical applications". Lab. Anim. Sci. 30 (4 Pt 1): 698–702. PMID 6775134. 
  3. ^ Symons M, Bell K (1991). "Expansion of the canine A blood group system". Anim. Genet. 22 (3): 227–35. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2052.1991.tb00672.x. PMID 1928828. 
  4. ^ Symons M, Bell K (1992). "Canine blood groups: description of 20 specificities". Anim. Genet. 23 (6): 509–15. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2052.1992.tb00169.x. PMID 1492701. 
  5. ^ Andrews GA, Chavey PS, Smith JE (November 1992). "Reactivity of lichen lectins with blood typed canine erythrocytes". Res. Vet. Sci. 53 (3): 315–9. doi:10.1016/0034-5288(92)90132-L. PMID 1465504. 
  6. ^ "Canine Blood Typing". DMS Laboratories, Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  7. ^ Giger U, Kilrain CG, Filippich LJ, Bell K (November 1989). "Frequencies of feline blood groups in the United States". J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 195 (9): 1230–2. PMID 2584120. 
  8. ^ Malik R, Griffin DL, White JD, Rozmanec M, Tisdall PL, Foster SF, Bell K, Nicholas FW (2005). "The prevalence of feline A/B blood types in the Sydney region". Aust. Vet. J. 83 (1–2): 38–44. doi:10.1111/j.1751-0813.2005.tb12190.x. PMID 15971816. 
  9. ^ Knottenbelt, CM (March 1999). "Determination of the prevalence of feline blood types in the UK". J Small Anim Pract. 40 (3): 115–118. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.1999.tb03051.x. PMID 10200921. 
  10. ^ MacLeay, JM (March 2001). "Neonatal isoerythrolysis". Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 21 (3): 106–109. doi:10.1016/S0737-0806(01)70105-0. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Boyd, WC. Fundamentals of Immunology Third Edition 1956, Interscience.

External links[edit]