Sinonimi: blood type
People whose blood has the same antigens; SYN. blood type.
Any of the types into which blood is classified according to the presence or otherwise of certain antigens on the surface of its red cells. Red blood cells of one individual may carry molecules on their surface that act as antigens in another individual whose red blood cells lack these molecules. The two main antigens are designated A and B. These give rise to four blood groups: having A only (A), having B only (B), having both (AB), and having neither (O). Each of these groups may or may not contain the rhesus factor. Correct typing of blood groups is vital in transfusion, since incompatible types of donor and recipient blood will result in coagulation, with possible death of the recipient.
The ABO system was first described by Austrian scientist Karl Landsteiner 1902. Subsequent research revealed at least 14 main types of blood group systems, 11 of which are involved with induced antibody production. Blood typing is also of importance in forensic medicine, cases of disputed paternity, and in anthropological studies.