ABO System

The A-B-O system is a means of classifying blood by the antigens located on the surface of the red blood cells and the antibodies circulating in the plasma. As shown in Table 46-1, an individual's red blood cells may carry an A antigen, a B antigen, both A and B antigens, or no antigen at all. These antigen patterns are called blood types A, B, AB, and O, respectively.

Notice in Table 46-1 that an individual with type A blood also has anti-B antibodies against type B blood. If type B blood is given to a recipient with type A blood, the recipient's anti-B antibodies will react with the B antigens on the donated red blood cells and the blood will agglutinate. In addition, the donor's type B blood has anti-A antibodies. Their presence will compound the antigen-antibody reaction. The result will be agglutinated blood that will block the flow of blood through the vessels. For this reason, transfusion recipients must receive blood that is compatible with their own.

figure 46-15

figure 46-15

Notice that there is no agglutination of red blood cells in the slide in (a), where blood samples from two people with the same blood type were mixed. Compare this with the slide in (b), where blood samples from two people with different blood types were mixed.

TABLE 46-1 Blood Types, Antigens, and Antibodies

Antigen on the Antibodies in the

Blood types red blood cells plasma Can get blood from Can give blood to

TABLE 46-1 Blood Types, Antigens, and Antibodies

Antigen on the Antibodies in the

Blood types red blood cells plasma Can get blood from Can give blood to

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