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How many blood types are there?

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The most common type of grouping is the ABO grouping. There are subtypes under this grouping (listed as A1, A2, A1B or A2B…) some of which are quite rare. Apart from this there is a protein which plays an important part in the grouping of blood. This is called the Rh factor. If this is present, the particular blood type is called positive. If it is absent, it is called negative. Thus there are 12 broad categories:

  • A1 Negative (A1 -ve)
  • A1 Positive (A1 +ve)
  • A1B Negative (A1B -ve)
  • A1B Positive (A1B +ve)
  • A2 Negative (A2 -ve)
  • A2 Positive (A2 +ve)
  • A2B Negative (A2B -ve)
  • A2B Positive (A2B +ve)
  • B Negative (B -ve)
  • B Positive (B +ve)
  • O Negative (O -ve)
  • O Positive (O +ve)

However, a total of 30 human blood group systems are now recognized by the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT). A complete blood type would describe a full set of 30 substances on the surface of RBCs, and an individual's blood type is one of the many possible combinations of blood-group antigens. Across the 30 blood groups, over 600 different blood-group antigens have been found, but many of these are very rare or are mainly found in certain ethnic groups.

Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Human blood group systems article (authors)
Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Blood_type article (authors)

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