1. An introduction to blood groups

  1. Geoff Daniels PhD, FRCPath Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Diagnostics1 and
  2. Imelda Bromilow MSc, CBiol Scientific Consultant2

Published Online: 6 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118688915.ch1

Essential Guide to Blood Groups, Third Edition

Essential Guide to Blood Groups, Third Edition

How to Cite

Daniels, G. and Bromilow, I. (eds) (2013) An introduction to blood groups, in Essential Guide to Blood Groups, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118688915.ch1

Editor Information

  1. 1

    IBGRL, Bristol Institute for Transfusion Services, NHS Blood and Transplant, Bristol, UK

  2. 2

    Liverpool, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 3 SEP 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118688922

Online ISBN: 9781118688915



  • ABO system;
  • antibodies;
  • blood group classification;
  • blood groups;
  • blood transfusion;
  • blood transplantation


Blood groups do not have to be red-cell specific, or even blood-cell specific, and most are also detected on other cell types. Blood groups do have to be detected by a specific antibody: polymorphisms suspected of being present on the red cell surface, but only detected by other means, such as DNA sequencing, are not blood groups. Blood group antibodies are usually IgM or IgG, although some may be IgA. Blood groups are of great clinical importance in blood transfusion and in transplantation. In fact, the discovery of the ABO system was one of the most important factors in making the practice of blood transfusion possible. Each blood group system represents either a single gene or a cluster of two or three closely linked genes of related sequence and with little or no recognised recombination occurring between them.