AB0 System and Rh Factor: What exactly is the AB0 System?

Serologic Tests (2)
Carmen Lobitz
Blood donation
Blood donation MartinD, edited by Mattes, CC BY 2.5

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The AB0 grouping system is of primary importance. Since every human has one of the four blood types A, B, AB, or 0, it is different from person to person and genetically determined.

These antigenes are not only on the erythrocyte surface, they are on many different cell systems in the body. Most people have the blood type 0, followed by groups A, B and AB.

Which antigenes and antibodies are present?

In people with type 0 blood none of the principal antigenes occur on the RBCs. Theoretically type 0 blood is a universal donor. This blood has antibodies against A and B. A person with AB blood has both A and B antigens on the RBCs. This blood contains no antibodies against A or B antigens. People with AB blood are also called universal recipients, because of the missing antibodies.

Note that a person born with one type of AB0 antigens has the antibodies against the other antigen, although they had never contact with the other type of blood.

What happens if a patient…

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