Daily News - Back

Bombay Blood Group

Prelims – Science and Technology

Recently, the demand for “Bombay blood group”, a rare blood type has spiked but supply has been scarce.

Blood Types

1. The four most common blood groups are A, B, AB and O. The rare, Bombay blood group was first discovered in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1952.

2. Each red blood cell has antigen over its surface, which helps determine which group it belongs to.

3. The Bombay blood group, also called hh, is deficient in expressing antigen H, meaning the RBC has no antigen H.

4. For instance, in the AB blood group, both antigens A and B are found. A will have A antigens; B will have B antigens. In hh, there are no A or B antigens.

5. Globally, the hh blood type has an incidence of one in four million. It has a higher incidence in South Asia. In India, one in 7,600 to 10,000 are born with this type.

Testing for the group

1. To test for hh blood, an Antigen H blood test is required. Often the hh blood group is confused with the O group. The difference is that the O group has Antigen H, while the hh group does not.

2. Lacking Antigen H, should not be related to poor immunity or more proneness to diseases.

3. Their counts for haemoglobin, platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells are similar to the count of others based on their health index. Because of rarity, they do face problems during a blood transfusion.

Transfusion limitations

1. The individuals with Bombay blood group can only be transfused autologous blood or blood from individuals of Bombay hh phenotype only.

2. In contrast, hh blood group can donate their blood to ABO blood types.

Source: The Indian Express