Let’s discuss some rare blood groups in the world. A blood type, which you might also call blood group, is a classification of blood, based on the presence and absence of antibodies and inherited antigenic substances on the surface of RBCs (red blood cells).
Fact about blood like we all know is that every drop of blood contains RBCs, which carry oxygen throughout your body. It also contains WBCs (white blood cells), which help in fighting infection, and platelets, which help in clotting blood on an injury. This is something we all know about but what you don’t know is that blood also contains antigens, which are proteins and sugars that sit on red blood cells and give blood its type.
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Some common and rare blood groups in the world – blood types in the world
Another fact is that there are at least 33 blood typing systems, out of which only 2 are widely used. First is the ABO system and the second is the Rh-positive/Rh-negative system. Together, these two groups form 8 basic blood types which most people are familiar with:
- A positive
- A negative
- B positive
- B negative
- AB positive
- AB negative
- O positive
- O negative
Blood types are mostly determined by genetics. The genes carried from parents to baby is what determines the blood type. When a child inherits an A antigen from one parent and B antigen from another, the blood type of the child is AB. Similarly, if you get an A antigen from both parents, then your blood group is bound to be A. Now, with the O type of blood group, parents with any blood group, carrying an O are likely to pass on O blood to their child.
Rh factor – positive or negative blood type
Rh factor is another antigen found on RBCs. If a person lacks the Rh antigen then they’re considered Rh-negative. Similarly, those with Rh antigens are Rh-positive. Depending on the Rh antigen, a blood type is assigned a positive and negative symbol.
Rare blood groups in the world – blood types in the world
We have so far discussed the common blood types that we’ve all heard of. But now, we’re going to tell you about the rare blood groups in the world that have only recently been spotted around the world.
Rh-null, also called ‘Golden Blood’, is one of the rarest blood types in the world. The number of people that have reported Rh-null blood type is less than 50 worldwide (43 to be exact). So, what is Rh-null?
While there are only 8 main/common blood types, there are an additional 61 possible antigens in the Rh system. This means that the 8 main blood types can be subdivided into millions of different blood types. Rh-null is a specific blood type that occurs when a person’s blood lacks all of the 61 possible antigens.
The fact that Rh-null lacks all of the possible antigens means it can be donated to others who have highly unusual blood types outside of the main eight types. However, Rh-null can only accept blood from others with Rh-null. The scarcity of Rh-null blood coupled with its unique properties make it very valuable to scientific research, hence the name “Golden Blood”. Rh-null blood type was first discovered in 1961 in an Australian Aboriginal woman.
In 2018, a new blood type called p-null was first discovered in India. After serological testing from the IBGRL, it was confirmed that the patient’s cells had a rare ‘pp’ phenotype. This blood group is based on the presence of any of the three substances known as the P, P1, and Pk antigens on the surface of RBCs. This blood group was first identified in 1927.
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Disclaimer: This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.