What is a blood type?

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What is a blood type?

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All people belong to one of four inherited blood groups: A, B, AB and O. The letters A and B refer to the kind of antigens found on an individual’s red blood cells. An antigen is a protein or carbohydrate on the cell that triggers an immune response, such as the formation of antibodies.

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When we talk about blood type, we are usually referring to the typing of red cells. We are looking for the presence or absence of the A or B antigen, and the Rh (or D) antigen. The A and B antigens are protein molecules found on the surface of the red cell. If you are type O, you lack both the A and the B antigen. These are the most common antigens. In addition, there are nearly 600 other red cell antigens.

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producing proteins) that are found on the surface of red blood cells in humans can be roughly classed into three families; A, B and O. When a person is classified by blood type, they are referred to as ‘Type A’, ‘Type B’, ‘Type AB’ or ‘Type O’. Each person inherits one gene for their blood type from each of their parents. The gene for ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ are equally dominant and the gene for ‘Type O’ is recessive. This means that If a person is Type A, then they could have a genetic pairing of either ‘AA’ or ‘AO’ because the ‘Type A’ disguises the ‘O’ gene. The same goes for ‘Type B’. Only if the person has both genes as ‘Type O’ can they be classed as ‘Type O’ due to the lack of a dominant A or B gene.

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A. When we talk about blood type, we are usually referring to the typing of red cells. We are looking for the presence or absence of the A or B antigen, and the Rh (or D) antigen, a protein substance which is found on the surface of the red cell. (If you are type O, you lack both the A and the B antigen.) These are the most common antigens. In addition, there are nearly 600 other red cell antigens. Q. What’s the most common blood type? A. ABO Rh typing is performed on all whole blood donations.

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