Talk:ABO blood group system

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in the main chart at the top of the page, the pictures of IgM pentamer Abs should be changes to IgM + IgG Abs for type O. (talk) 00:40, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

A shematic drawing of the ABO antigens would be easier to understand than the present verbose section on ABO antigens. Snowman 09:07, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

We need a gallery with the results of the test used for determine the blood group. Im uploading some i took with the cell phone last week during that lab, but i only have mine and my lab partner so if anyone have the other, upload them asap! --ometzit<col> 00:54, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I think photoes of slide grouping method will be useful on the cross matching page or on its own page called blood grouping. These pictures are needed, but they need to be clearer and better resolution. Snowman 16:40, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

How can I upload a non-copyrighted picture? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kindlychung (talkcontribs) 07:43, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

There is a mistake in the order of the pictures in the first table at the "antigens in plasma" row. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Removed unreferenced statement[edit]

The following statement was removed from the article due to a lack of source: (Capital letter O after the german word Ohne that means without) --apers0n 10:57, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Population data[edit]

As blood types are so popular in Japan (for horoscope reasons), I added "Population data" for Japan from the Japanese version of this very page. Note that they aren't sourced in the Japanese version of this page. It says something like "It is said that...". They do look a little too round to be true!

By the way, shouldn't the "Population data" table be in alphabetical order? 09:09, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

It might help. Snowman 09:22, 17 February 2007 (UTC)


African Americans are an ethnic group?! 02:59, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes. (ethnicity exists because of genetic homogeny due to cultural separation and isolation developing in its own inert direction) (talk) 17:02, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

A, B, AB --> O conversion[edit]

I just read the news article about it. It is an exciting find. It should be written about more. A scientific marvel, I would say. Someone please expand this part. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Heero Kirashami (talkcontribs) 02:48, 6 April 2007 (UTC).

ABO - Can blood group be used as legal paternity test ?[edit]


Can "ABO/MN blood group" legitimate?

A and A O or A AB or B
B AND B O or B A or AB
A and B O or A or B or AB x
A and O O or A B or AB
O and B O or B A OR AB
O and O O A or B or AB
A and AB A or B or AB O
B and AB A or B or AB O
AB and AB A or B or AB O
AB and O A or B O or AB
M and M M MN or N
M and N MN M or N
N and N N MN or M
M and MN M or MN N
N and MN N or MN M
MN and MN M or N or MN NONE

Among MN and ABO, which one is (legally) best acceptable test?

Thanking you
AnThRaX Ru
PS: I am not good in English language. I hope you understand my questions.

There are no legally acceptable blood tests for proving paternity, however they can be used as conclusive proof of non-paternity in some cases.
PS: Please don't forget to sign your contributions with four tildes "~~~~". TinyMark 18:00, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Neither the ABO or MNS/s system can be used as a paternity test for legal proof, its limitations are quite clear with the limited number of antigens and other technical factors such as cis-AB. A HLA type would be the minimum required to prove or disprove paternity. (talk) 12:12, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Honestly, I don't think it's responsible to promote the use of blood types to exclude paternity, even for the "impossible child", because there are aberrations such as Bombay phenotype, genetic mosaicism and parasitic twins that can throw off the tests. Anyone trying to determine paternity by drawing on years-old recollections or things seen over somebody's shoulder at a blood bank is just asking for trouble. Wnt (talk) 17:29, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Evolutionary history[edit]

The "Eat Right 4 Your Type" series (yes, I know...) states that O is the most archaic type, and associates A with settled civilizations of the Near East, and B with Asia. AB is apparently the result of the Mongol conquests. Is this description generally accepted as correct? I see that the article cites it alongside a rival theory that O evolved more recently, but there is no description of this research. Thank you. --Dawud

"AB" is a mixture of A and B in the same individual ("A" from one parent, "B" from another) so AB has no evolutionary history itself per se.
I have heard the claim that the 'B' allele enjoys significantly greater frequency in areas of the former Mongol Empire than elsewhere in western Eurasia; this is ascribed to the fact that the Mongols were East Asian, type B has high frequency in east Asia, and the Mongols were very "effective" in spreading their genes.
But type B existed before the Mongols, and existed in Europe too, so the most the Mongols did was shift the distribution around slightly. The origin of the A, B, and O alleles lies much further back in history. --Saforrest (talk) 06:11, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

How to upload a pic?[edit]

I'd like to upload a non-copyrighted picture, how can I do it? Kindlychung (talk) 07:47, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

"Positive/Negative" Subtypes[edit]

Neither this article nor the main article "Blood Types" discuss the positive or negative blood subtypes (e.g., "O Negative" or "O-"). I do not know if "suptype" is even the correct terminology -- which is why I would appreciate if someone would add an explanatory section on positive/negative blood typing to the article! Thanks. Sterling Gillette (talk) 02:12, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Misnomer of O- as universal donor[edit]

It mentions that type O- is known as the 'universal donor' but should also mention that this is a misnomer, and that the Bombay phenotype is in fact the universal donor, as it can't receive even type O but can give to it and the others. (talk) 17:00, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Geographic Distribution chart?[edit]

Would a Geographic Distribution chart be useful here such as the one on the Rhesus factor page Rhesus blood group system#Population data?

Schematic for Possible Blood Donations[edit]

I find the table int he article quite confusing. Perhaps a diagram like this one would be handy? (although I admit that it is a poorly-made diagram, it explains it a lot better.) --Darren Frenrith (talk) 12:37, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree. This scheme would be very helpful for the compatibility of red blood cell transfusions. Thanks, --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 15:39, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree to an extent. I've turned it into a table, which I think makes it clear and also highlights the universal acceptor and donor types. Imagin8or (talk) 06:05, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Take a look at the Blood type article. That article already contains tables and diagrams illustrating the donor/recipient compatibility for red blood cells and plasma. It seems there is much duplication between the articles seems unnecessary. I would treat Blood type as the more general article and ABO blood group system as the more specific article. As such, I think this article should omit Rh specific information, as that is covered in the Rh blood group system and is off-topic here. -- Tom N (tcncv) talk/contrib 06:48, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I believe the new table contains a typo. Surely a B+ recipient can receive O+ blood.-gadfium 07:35, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I've changed it. The bullet was in the wrong column, indicating that a B+ recipient could recieve A+ blood but not O+. This was clearly incorrect.-gadfium 20:59, 11 October 2010 (UTC)


The text states: "Scientific evidence in support of these concepts is nonexistent.[69]"

Except the cited link states the scientific evidence is 'limited at best'. That cannot be paraphrased as non-existant. An alternative source would be needed to support that.

Weegiekev (talk) 23:38, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Bad reference link[edit]

The reference 71 ^ a b Blood Group A Suptypes, The Owen Foundation, retrieved 2008-07-01. seems to be bad. Gives an interesting 404. CAn some one find the actual /alternate reference? Staticd (talk) 07:05, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

 Done. See [1] Viriditas (talk) 11:13, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Rh - misleading?[edit]

This article treats Rhesus factor as a single entity, as is commonly thought in everyday life. In reality it's rather different. Have added a link to the Rhesus pages, but I'd like to suggest that someone more knowledgable than me revises the article to cover/correct the inaccuracies. Even if it's just to say that references in the article to rhesus factor only consider factor D. Kevgermany (talk) 10:10, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


This is probably a good place to discuss the fact that the risk of thrombosis is increased is people with all non-O blood groups (2-4 fold) apart from A2/O1, A2/O2, A2A2. See doi:10.1111/j.1538-7836.2009.03394.x, a review that discusses this. JFW | T@lk 14:46, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


Bantu is neither a race nor an ethnicity. Bantu is a language group composed of a multitude of individual languages. Many different cultures and ethnic groups speak languages in the Bantu family, but it is not an ethnicity in of itself as suggested in this article. Saying there is a Bantu race/ethnicity is like saying there is a Romance race/ethnicity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:56, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

ABO and Rh distribution by country[edit]

  • Weighted mean

- It looks like the calculations are not correct. I calculated 3,684,282,866 people as total "quoted" population in the table. This should be the 100% base for all the "Average mean" calculations. The article stated "(total population = 2,261,025,244)". If this was taken as 100%, this error must propagates into the all "Population-weighted mean" results.

Possible reason - more countries were added in the table but formulas have not been updated. Or it was copied from another site. like , were the same number at the bottom of the simmilar table was also incorrect.

Regards Peter P. AB+ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:17, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

O Alleles[edit]

Under the ABO Antigens heading (paragraph 3), the missing nucleotide is guanine, whereas under the Genetics subheading, the missing nucleotide is guanosine! Am I correct in presuming that the latter is incorrect?

The paragraphs also disagree as to where the deletion occurs! The first says that the O allele contains a deletion (surely poor wording?) at position 261, thus 260 bases match, whereas the second says that the omission occurs after position 261. Which is correct?Glevum (talk) 06:35, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

See guanine, guanosine. The guanine is what is recognized as different by the ribosome; but it is part of the guanosine which is what could be swapped out for something else in a different genetic code. If you want more fun let's point out that deoxyguanosine is actually in the DNA that codes the RNA and is responsible for the genetic change, and a cytidine-deoxyguanosine basepair is what you'd need to change to have a different gene. :) (Nobody really puts it like that last form though) Honestly, everyone knows what they mean, what is intended, so long as the cellular machinery keeps working like in the textbooks, which it almost always does. Wnt (talk) 18:37, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Blood types and peoples[edit]

This is NOT racism! At the beginning; The Neanderthals 0-, First Homo sapiens > Black people 0+, White people A+, and the Asians B+ ; Can we say this? Is this possible? Also the Proto-Basque people 0-, the Native Americans 0+ The Native Americans came from Asia... but the main blood type of the Asians are B+ / so the First Homo sapiens people (whose blood type was 0+) were also in America! Böri (talk) 10:49, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Why ABO (not AB0)?[edit]

why ABO? why not AB0? this seems consistant... I assume this is because of the fact that we refer to them as 'O' types, not 'zero' types. ABO is consistant with all the literature I've ever encountered on this subject. Sephui 15:24, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

My biology teacher say that too, the system would be called AB0 because the O antigen doesn't exist, since it doesn't have antigen should be cero. But, the guy who discovered [it] named it ABO and no AB0 so she said there's nothing to do, but its all down to a matter of logic. --ometzit<col> 00:54, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Do we know for sure what its original name was? The German language article calls it AB0 (zero), and the system was invented by an Austrian (German-speaking, presumably). Who changed the system's name - us Anglophones, or the Germans/Austrians? ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, this is a little a sad story that has also lead to miscommunication. On has to know for this discussion that on early typewriters the number 0 was also written with a big O (as the number 1 was written with a small letter l,{el}). Furthermore, zero can be pronounced as "O" such as the letter O. As far as I know, Dr. Landsteiner has not declared the use of O (or 0) to be wrong. In papers published by him, you can also read the "O" for the blood group O (but considering the typewriter problem). From the genetic point of view, the number zero would be more accurately describing the facts. Currently, ABO (with letter O) is used in English and AB0 (zero) in German literature with a low probability to be unified soon. --Firefly's luciferase (talk) 03:05, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I haven't looked into this carefully, but I wonder whether the use of the letter "O" might not have been the abbreviation for the German preposition "ohne" ("without"). To be certain, one would have to look up the original German article in which the ABO system was first described. I'm not going to the trouble, but I do know German very well, so if someone gets the article and can fax it to me or e-mail me a scan I'd be glad to sort it out. Thomas.Hedden (talk) 14:54, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


I've combined the tables for inheritance of the blood type and of the genotype and colorized them for effect. The colorization scheme is kind of screwed (it would have worked better on a black background...) but hopefully the figure is comprehensible. Feel free to offer feedback if I've fouled anything up (I was going half mad getting my rows and columns straight...) Wnt (talk) 07:02, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for doing this. I had thrown in a table following the reference desk question.[2] I think the table layout is good (not so sure about the lurid colours!). I wonder if the genotypes and blood groups could be distinguished more clearly? Particularly for AB there could be confusion. Ah! I realise because I have "disable smaller font" set in my gadget preferences I am not seeing the table as it was intended. Maybe italics for genotype? Thincat (talk) 09:12, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I've started by simplifying the colors: I'm not going to try to represent the probability of finding each of the genes, only the whether or not they could be present. So there are now seven colors for O, A, B, A and/or O, B and/or O, A and/or B, A and/or B and/or O. If it's not obvious what I'm trying to do there now I could have a legend to explain that. Do the colors chosen still disturb you, or are they less jarring now that they match a sensible meaning? If we use a legend we could change them to literally anything.
Where the small print is concerned, it might be best if you explain a bit more what goes wrong with the display. Do the genotypes wrap to another row? I'd initially been thinking to shrink the figure columns by a few pixels, but I could even expand them slightly to prevent trouble. If I apply the font-size CSS property directly, does that circumvent the gadget? Wnt (talk) 17:18, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and the genotype... well, it's a little tricky. I'd italicize it if I had entries like IAi in the table, but nobody wants to wade through a table of those, especially not in small font! I could italicize AO, BO, etc., but doing so sort of invites confusion because it would be easy for a beginning student to think that's the actual gene notation (even as it is I might want to explain it isn't, but hopefully that's not too unclear) Wnt (talk) 17:22, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I have now experimentally turned off my "disable small" option to see how I get on. I expect almost everyone has it turned off (by default) anyway. So the distinction is clear now. Yes, the genotypes were wrapping and, the font being the same size, each cell looked rather like a single multi-line list. Yes, forget italics. Now you have explained the rationale behind the colours I feel better about them. Without really thinking, they had just looked lurid (not disturbing!). Maybe they could all be paler. But I am perfectly happy with things so thank you again. Thincat (talk) 20:02, 1 November 2013 (UTC)


I've since made some considerable changes, primarily:

  • split out an article Blood type distribution by country (I'm not committed to that title) to take those gigantic ethnic tables. The same tables were in blood type, and I literally had to use Kdiff3 to get what I think is the best version out of the two articles.
  • Shuffled a lot of sections around to get a high level organization with explanations of the antigens, genetics, transfusions, and normal role in the body. Merged/rearranged a few subsections completely.
  • Added/revised a bit of introductory text to try to make it clearer to students.

What set all this off was finding a few duplicated sections - the two inheritance tables, the separate section (with an Expand tag!) for subgroups, the section on the Russian nomenclature mentioned in a "see below" from the related history. To me, this kind of duplication is a sure sign that an article's high level organization is so bad that people can't find the information they want within it, and when they add things, they end up adding them in more and more random places.

Anyway, let me know what I broke. :) Wnt (talk) 00:33, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

H antigen[edit]

Just wanted to make sure that the "H antigen" which redirects here, that refers to the Hh antigen system is distinct from the "H antigen" that refers to the Histocompatibility antigens, as described here and by extension the H-Y antigen described here, or the "bacterial flagellar antigen important in the serological classification of enteric bacilli" described here. I planned to clarify this distinction, but because of the apparent overlap in subject matter, I wanted to double check before inadvertently causing more confusion. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 15:40, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Decided to be bold and un-redirect. Let me know if there are any thoughts, thanks. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 16:22, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

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Unsourced sections[edit]

The little removal and restoration of unsourced content drew my attention to this section, which is almost entirely unsourced. Moved here per WP:PRESERVE. Per WP:BURDEN, please do not restore without finding reliable sources (per WP:MEDRS for any content about health}, checking the content against them, and citing them.


The central principle of the ABO system is that antigens – in this instance, sugars physically exposed on the exterior of red blood cells – differ between individuals, who have immunological tolerance only toward what occurs in their own bodies. As a result, many humans express isoantibodies – antibodies against isoantigens, natural components present in the bodies of other members of the same species but not themselves. Isoantibodies may be present against the A and/or B antigens in people who do not themselves have the same antigens in their own blood. These antibodies act as haemagglutinins, which cause blood cells to clump and break apart if they carry the foreign antigens. This harsh response, though an adaptive reaction useful against infection, can cause death when large amounts of such cells are encountered after a blood transfusion, a circumstance not encountered in natural selection prior to modern history. Because A and B antigens are chemically modified from a precursor form that is also present in type O individuals, people with type A and B antigens can accept blood from type O individuals.

Anti-A and anti-B antibodies (called isohaemagglutinins), which are not present in the newborn, appear in the first years of life. Anti-A and anti-B antibodies are usually IgM type, which are not able to pass through the placenta to the fetal blood circulation. O-type individuals can produce IgG-type ABO antibodies.

The precursor to the ABO blood group antigens, present in people of all common blood types, is called the H antigen. Individuals with the rare Bombay phenotype (hh) do not express antigen H on their red blood cells. As the H antigen serves as a precursor for producing A and B antigens, the absence of the H antigen means that the individuals also lack A or B antigens as well (similar to O blood group). However, unlike O group, the H antigen is absent, hence the individuals produce isoantibodies to antigen H as well as to both A and B antigens. If they receive blood from someone with O blood group, the anti-H antibodies will bind to the H antigen on the red blood cells ('RBC') of the donor blood and destroy the RBCs by complement-mediated lysis. Therefore, people with Bombay phenotype can receive blood only from other hh donors (although they can donate as though they were type O). Some individuals with the blood group A1 may also be able to produce anti-H antibodies due to the complete conversion of all the H antigen to A1 antigen.

Production of the H antigen, or its deficiency in the Bombay phenotype, is controlled at the H locus on chromosome 19. The H locus is not the same gene as the ABO locus, but it is epistatic to the ABO locus, providing the substrate for the A and B alleles to modify.[1] The H locus contains three exons that span more than 5 kb of genomic DNA, and encodes the fucosyltransferase that produces the H antigen on RBCs. The H antigen is a carbohydrate sequence with carbohydrates linked mainly to protein (with a minor fraction attached to ceramide moiety). It consists of a chain of β-D-galactose, β-D-N-acetylglucosamine, β-D-galactose, and 2-linked, α-L-fucose, the chain being attached to the protein or ceramide.

The ABO locus, which is located on chromosome 9, contains seven exons that span more than 18 kb of genomic DNA. Exon 7 is the largest and contains most of the coding sequence. The ABO locus has three main alleleic forms: A, B, and O. The A allele encodes a glycosyltransferase that bonds α-N-acetylgalactosamine to the D-galactose end of the H antigen, producing the A antigen. The B allele encodes a glycosyltransferase that bonds α-D-galactose to the D-galactose end of the H antigen, creating the B antigen.

In the case of the O allele, when compared to the A allele, exon 6 lacks one nucleotide (guanine), which results in a loss of enzymatic activity. This difference, which occurs at position 261, causes a frameshift that results in the premature termination of the translation and, thus, degradation of the mRNA. This results in the H antigen remaining unchanged in the case of O groups.

The majority of the ABO antigens are expressed on the ends of long polylactosamine chains attached mainly to band 3 protein, the anion exchange protein of the RBC membrane, and a minority of the epitopes are expressed on neutral glycosphingolipid.

Role of ABO antigens in transfusion medicine

For a blood donor and recipient to be ABO-compatible for a transfusion, the recipient must not have Anti-A or Anti-B antibodies that correspond to the A or B antigens on the surface of the donor's red blood cells (since the red blood cells are isolated from whole blood before transfusion, it is unimportant whether the donor blood has antibodies in its plasma). If the antibodies of the recipient's blood and the antigens on the donor's red blood cells do correspond, the donor blood is rejected. On rejection, the recipient may experience Acute hemolytic transfusion reaction (AHTR).

In addition to the ABO system, the Rh blood group system can affect transfusion compatibility. An individual is either positive or negative for the Rh factor; this is denoted by a '+' or '−' after their ABO type. Those with Rh-positive blood can safely receive both Rh-positive and Rh-negative blood, but those with Rh-negative blood should only receive Rh-negative blood. Rh-negative blood is used in emergencies when there is no time to test a person's Rh type. Because of this, the AB+ blood type is referred to as the "universal recipient", as there are neither Anti-B or Anti-A antibodies in its plasma, and can receive both Rh-positive and Rh-negative blood. Similarly, the O− blood type is called the "universal donor"; since its red blood cells have no A or B antigens and are Rh-negative, no other blood type will reject it.

ABO and Rh blood type donation showing matches between donor and recipient types
Pfeil OS.svg
O− A− B− AB− O+ A+ B+ AB+
Recipients O−


  1. ^ Benjamin A. Pierce (2008-02-15). Transmission and Population Genetics. ISBN 978-1-4292-1118-5. 

-- Jytdog (talk) 04:32, 15 May 2017 (UTC)