ABO system

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ABO system One of the most important human blood group systems. The system is based on the presence or absence of antigens A and B on the surface of red blood cells and antibodies against these in blood serum. A person whose blood contains either or both of these antibodies cannot receive a transfusion of blood containing the corresponding antigens as this would cause the red cells to clump (see agglutination). The table illustrates the basis of the system: people of blood group O are described as ‘universal donors’ as they can give blood to those of any of the other groups. See also immune response.

Group

Antigens on red cell surface

Antibodies in serum

Blood group of people donor can receive blood from

Blood group of people donor can give blood to

The ABO blood group system

A

A

anti-B

A, O

A, AB

B

B

anti-A

B, O

B, AB

AB

A and B

none

A, B, AB, O

AB

O

neither A nor B

anti-A and anti-B

O

A, B, AB, O


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ABO system • n. a system of four basic types (A, AB, B, and O) into which human blood may be classified, based on the presence or absence of certain inherited antigens.

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ABO system n. see blood group.

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