Jump to: navigation, search

A system of describing the oligosaccharide antigens found on the surface of human blood cells. According to the type of antigen present, a person may be assigned a blood type of A, B, AB or O. A second type of antigen, the Rh factor, renders a "positive" or "negative" blood type. The ABO blood group system is important because it determines who can donate blood to or accept blood from whom. Type A or AB blood will cause an immune reaction in people with type B blood, and type B and AB blood will cause a reaction in people with type A blood. Conversely, type O blood has no A or B antigens, so people with type O blood are "universal donors." And since AB blood already produces both antigens, people who are type AB can accept any of the other blood types without suffering an immune reaction.