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What does Blood Group Type “A” mean?

A blood type is also known as a blood group. It is a classification of blood depends upon the presence and absence of antibodies. It also depends upon the inherited antigenic substances on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). Let us read in detail about the Blood Group Type “A” and ABO system.
Mar 19, 2020 14:20 IST
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Blood Group
Blood Group
p>Depending upon the blood group system, antigens can be proteins, carbohydrates, glycoproteins, or glycolipids. 

As we know that there are four blood groups or types of blood namely A, B, AB and O. Your blood group is determined by the genes that you have inherited from your parents.
Before going for detail about A blood type first let us understand about antibodies and antigens.

Blood comprises red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the form of liquid known as plasma. About half of the blood that is 45% is made up of blood cells (red and white) while the remaining 55% with plasma.

Antibodies are nothing but a protein found in plasma. They are the part of body’s natural defences. They recognise foreign substances that can harm health like germs, and alert the immune system of the body to fight against them and destroy them.

On the other hand antigens are protein molecules found on the surface of red blood cells.
The presence of proteins on the surface of red blood cells called antigens defined a person's blood type. If antigen A is present in the blood type, then a person has type A blood, while if antigen B is present then a person has type B blood. If both A and B are present, then type AB blood is present. If neither antigen is present, then a person has type O blood.
Blood Groups in detail

Mainly there are four blood groups defined by ABO system.

1. Blood Group A: It has A antigens on the red blood cells with anti-B antibodies in the plasma.

2. Blood Group B: It has B antigens with anti-A antibodies in the plasma.

3. Blood Group O: It has no antigens, but both anti-A and anti-B antibodies in the plasma.

4. Blood Group AB: It has both A and B antigens and no antibodies.

It is said that receiving blood from the wrong ABO group can be life-threatening. For example, 
if someone has a B blood group and gives blood to A blood group person then their anti-A antibodies will attack the group A cells. That is why a person having blood group A must not give blood to a person having blood group B and vice versa.

And on the other side group O blood has neither A nor B antigens, it can safely be given to any other group.

What is Bombay Blood Group and how is it discovered?

Blood A type

Blood drop has red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. It also consists of white blood cells that help in fighting against infection, and platelets that further helps to clot blood.

There are eight basic blood types that most of us are familiar with.

A-positive

A-negative

B-positive

B-negative

AB-positive

AB-negative

O-positive

O-negative

These are the ABO and Rh+ and Rh- blood group systems.

First we will study about A+ blood group.

If a person's blood group is A positive that is the blood contains type-A antigens with protein known as the rhesus (Rh) factor. Antigens are basically markers on the surface of the blood cell.

According to the American Red Cross, it is one of the most common blood types.
Why people have an A+ blood type?

Blood type depends upon genetics. If a person has Blood type A that means his or her parents had one of the possible combinations of blood types as mentioned below:

AB and AB

AB and B

AB and A

AB and O

A and B

A and A

O and A

And if parents have following combinations of blood types then child couldn't have A type blood:

B and B

O and B

O and O

Note: There is no scientific proof that blood types are linked with certain personality traits. 
It is a persistent theory in Japanese culture called "ketsuekigata.”

Those who believe in this theory, personal traits with A+ blood type are associated with tense, stubborn, earnest, responsible, patient, reserved, sensible and creative.

If a person has type A blood, he or she can receive blood from type A or type O.
According to the Red Blood Cross organisation there are more than 600 other known antigens and the presence or absence of which creates "rare blood types". Your blood type is rare when it lacks an antigen that is 99% of the people are positive for. If you somehow lack antigen that is 99.99% are positive for. Therefore, your blood type is extremely rare.

Recently, a new Chinese study revealed that people with blood group type "A" are at an increased risk of getting an infection of coronavirus as compared to other blood group types. 
And according to scientists it is said that people with type "O" blood groups are more resistant to the virus than people belonging to any other blood group. Let us see what is it?
Researchers are studying COVID-19 in its outbreak epicentre, Wuhan, and the city of Shenzhen. They found that the proportion of Type-A patients both are infected and killed by the disease to be “significantly” higher than those with the same blood type in the generic public. 
Further study reveals that Type “O” Blood Group patients made up a smaller proportion of both those infected and killed by the virus. 

Researchers at the Centre for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine based out of Wuhan wrote that “People of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection”.

The team, led by Wang Xinghuan, coached the study as “preliminary”, with more work needed to be done to develop concrete findings. Let us tell you that the research was published on Medrxiv.org. It compared blood types of 2,173 confirmed coronavirus cases in Wuhan and Shenzhen to more than 3,694 healthy residents in the Wuhan area.

It was found that 31.16 percent of Wuhan residents had blood type A and 37.75 percent of surveyed patients of coronavirus at the local Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital were of the same blood type. 

And sample of coronavirus patients cases at the hospital shows that 25.8 percent had blood type “O” compared to 33.84 percent in the general population. 

Further, the study also examined 206 patients who died from coronavirus, finding 85 victims, or 41.26 percent, had Type A blood. Just 52 of the deaths, or about a quarter, had Type O Blood. 
Note: The researcher in the city of Tianjin Gao Yingdai told that “there is no need to panic. 
It does not mean that blood type A will be infected 100 percent and on the other hand, blood type O people does not mean that they are absolutely safe. Still, precautions are needed to be taken like wash your hands and follow the guidelines issued by the authorities”. 
For a better understanding of Blood and Blood types refer to the link below:

Composition and Functions of blood

GK Questions and Answers on Human Blood