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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-13

ABO and rhesus blood groups among blood donors in Kano, North-Western Nigeria

1 Department of Hematology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Bayero University/ Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
3 Department of Hematology, Bayero University/ Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication10-Oct-2012

Correspondence Address:
Tijjani Bashir Mohammed
Department of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospial, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0331-8540.102105

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Background: The need for blood and blood products requires an efficient blood transfusion service. This study was undertaken to provide pro data on the distribution of ABO and Rhesus blood groups that would assist in planning and coordinating blood transfusion services for the cosmopolitan city of Kano. Materials and Methods: A total of 5000 consecutive blood donor samples were grouped for ABO and Rhesus 'D' antigen by tile and tube methods at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) over a one-year period. Results: Blood group O had the highest prevalence of 2860 (57.2%) followed by blood group B of 1035 (20.7%), then A of 1025 (20.5%) and the lowest being AB of 80 (1.6%). A total of 4741 (94.8%) of the study group were Rhesus 'D' positive while 259 (5.2%) were Rhesus 'D' negative. Conclusion: The ABO blood group had blood group O as the most prevalent blood group in the study population while the lowest was AB. The Rhesus blood group positive was 94.8% while Rhesus negative blood group was 5.2%.

Keywords: ABO, blood group, Kano, Nigeria, Rhesus

How to cite this article:
Chima OK, Mohammed TB, Aisha KG, Alhaji SA, Muhammad BM, Kwaru AH. ABO and rhesus blood groups among blood donors in Kano, North-Western Nigeria. Niger J Basic Clin Sci 2012;9:11-3

How to cite this URL:
Chima OK, Mohammed TB, Aisha KG, Alhaji SA, Muhammad BM, Kwaru AH. ABO and rhesus blood groups among blood donors in Kano, North-Western Nigeria. Niger J Basic Clin Sci [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Jun 8];9:11-3. Available from: https://www.njbcs.net/text.asp?2012/9/1/11/102105

  Introduction Top

The ABO blood group are the first red cell antigens while the Rhesus blood group are the most immunogenic red cell antigens discovered. They express their character in transfusion and pregnancy as important histocompatibilty genes. [1] ABO and Rhesus blood groups are of vital clinical and immunological importance due to their frequent occurrence and capacity for stimulation of antibodies, which may lead to intravascular hemolysis in cases of incompatible blood transfusion or pregnancy in majority of Rhesus 'D' (RhD)-negative individuals. [1] The Rhesus antigen is present on red cell structural membrane [2] but not on white cells, platelets, tissue, or body fluids. [3]

There are wide variations in racial distribution of ABO antigens. In Caucasian, prevalence of 46%, 42%, 9%, and 3% [4],[5] were reported compared to 57%, 20.5%, 21.6%, and 1.4% for O, A, B, and AB in Blacks. [6]

The cellular expression of A and B antigens are determined by the H gene, which is inherited independently. This gene codes for an enzyme that converts a carbohydrate precursor into H substance. The A and B genes code for specific enzymes (glycosyl transferases), which converts H substance into A and B antigens by the terminal addition of N-acetyl-galactosamine and D-galactose, respectively. [1] The O gene produces an inactive transferase, so that H substance persists unchanged in group O individuals. In the extreme rare Bombay phenotype (Oh), the H genotype is silent (hh) and no H transferase is produced; therefore, no H substance is made, so A and B genes if present cannot be expressed. Such individuals have anti-A, anti-B, and anti-H in their plasma and can, therefore, only be safely transfused with Oh blood. [1]

The recent global fight against transfusion transmissible diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, the increasing demand for blood in medical, surgical, gynecological and obstetric emergencies calls for organized blood bank services. Efficient blood banking can only be managed based on good data collation of blood group distribution in the areas concerned. Accordingly, this study was done to establish such data in Kano located in the North-West of Nigeria.

  Materials and Methods Top

Five thousand (5000) consecutive blood donors were recruited into the study at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano over a 12-month period, from January 2005-December 2005. Two milliliters of venous blood was collected into a plain (10 ml) container, and the red cells were separated from the serum by centrifugation. ABO and Rhesus 'D' blood group phenotypes were determined using monoclonal anti-A, anti-B , anti AB, and monoclonal anti-D IgG/IgM (Biotech, India) respectively, according to procedure described by Dacie and Lewis [7] and manufacturer's instruction. The principle was based on the ability of the specific antisera to agglutinate red cell in the presence of the corresponding antigen. A drop of each antisera was placed on a clean glass slide and then mixed with a drop of 10% saline suspension of red cells at room temperature; this was then mixed carefully by gentle rocking for maximum of 2 minutes. Presence of agglutination indicates the presence of the corresponding blood group and vice versa [Table 1]. Appropriate controls of known blood groups were used concurrently. [7] All Rhesus negative phenotypes were confirmed using spin tube technique at 150 g centrifugal speed for 1 minute. Data generated was analyzed using SPSS version 10.0 statistical software.
Table 1: Interpretation of results of ABO and RhD blood grouping

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  Results Top

Of the 5000 donors grouped, 2860 (57.2%) were found to be blood group O, 1025 (20.5%) were blood group A, 1035 (20.7%) were blood group B, while 50 (1.6%) were blood group AB [Table 2].
Table 2: ABO blood group distribution in Kano metropolis

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A total of 4741 (94.8%) of the population was Rhesus 'D' positive while 259 (5.2%) were Rhesus 'D' negative [Table 3]. The occurrence of Rhesus antigen was highest in blood group O and lowest in blood group AB with prevalence of 2695 (53.9%) and 77 (1.5%), respectively. Rhesus negativity also had the highest and lowest prevalence of 165 (3.3%) and 3.0 (0.1%) in blood group O and AB, respectively [Table 3].
Table 3: ABO and Rhesus blood group distribution in Kano metropolis

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  Discussion Top

In this study, blood group O was found to be the most common (57%) in our population, similar to earlier reports from other parts of Nigeria with prevalence of 56.3% in Port Harcourt (South-South) and 47.1% in Jos (North-Central) Nigeria. [8],[9] It is also similar to reports from the South-Western part among the Yorubas, South-East among the Igbos and from Kaduna (North Central) among the predominantly Hausa population. [10],[11],[12]

Blood group B (20.7%) was slightly more prevalent than blood group A (20.5%) in our study. This support earlier report of 24.6% in Port Harcourt and 20.5% in Lagos where blood group B was also found to be the second most prevalent in the population. [13],[14] However, other findings in Nigeria [8],[10],[11],[12] and reports from Caucasian population show that blood group A is the next most common after O. This clearly points to the fact that more research is still required on ethnic percentage distribution of ABO blood group phenotype, especially in northern part of the country.

Rhesus 'D' negative was found to have a low percentage frequency of 5.2% in this work, which agrees with previously published data of low phenotypic frequencies of 7.26%, 6.85%, 5.8%, and 1.6% [6],[8],[13],[15] Rhesus negativity in Nigeria. These findings generally agree with reports of Armeaud and Young, of low Rhesus negativity among Blacks in diaspora [15] relative to the 15% among Caucasians population. [1]

Definitive establishment of blood group distribution among the various geopolitical zones as well as the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria will be helpful to plan and coordinate efficient management of the new regional blood bank centers in Nigeria to meet the need of the populace for blood transfusion. We advocate the use of this and similar data from other parts of the country by the recently established national blood transfusion service for efficient distribution of blood products to the various hospitals in the country. There is also the need to establish the prevalence of the rare blood group phenotypes in order to plan for transfusion-dependent patients or those with recurrent need for blood transfusion.

  References Top

1.Dacie JV, Lewis SM. Red cell blood-group antigens and antibodies In: Practical Textbook of Haematology. 8 th ed. Maryland: Church Hill Living stone Edinburgh; 1994. p. 444-51.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Carton JP, Agre P. Rhesus blood group antigens: Protein and gene structure. Semin Haematol 1993;3:193-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Baker FJ, Silverton R. The ABO and Rhesus blood groups system In: Introduction to Medical Laboratory Technology. London: Butterworth; 1985. p. 359-66.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Mourant AE, Kopec AC, Domaniewska- Sobezak K. The distribution of the Human, Blood Groups and other Biochemical Polymorphism. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1976. p. 108-17.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Wikipedia. ABO blood group system (population averages). Available from: http://wikipedia.org [Last reviewed on 2012 Apr 24, accessed on 2012 Apr 27].   Back to cited text no. 5
6.Iyawe VI, Igboroye AD, Akinyabi GA. Prelimnary survey of Rhesus inheritance and ABO blood groups in Nigerians. Nig J Physiol Sci 1999;15:18-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Dacie JV, Lewis SM. Laboratory aspects of blood transfusion In: Practical Textbook of Haematology. 8 th ed. Maryland: ChuchHill, Livingstone, Edinbourgh; 1994. p. 479-97.   Back to cited text no. 7
8.Onwukeme KE. Blood group distribution in blood donors in a Nigerian population. Nig J Physiol Sci 1990;6:67-70.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Worledge S, Ogbemudia SE, Thomas CO, Njoku BN, Luzzato L. Blood group antigens and antibodies. Nig Ann Trop Med Parasitol 1974;68:249-64.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Mathew EE, Godwin NB. Distribution of ABO and Rhesus-D blood groups in the Benin area of Niger Delta: Implications for regional blood transfusion. Asian J Transf Sci 2008;2:3-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Kulkumi AG, Peter B, Ibazebor DZ, Fleming AF. The ABO and Rhesus groups in the north of Nigeria. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 1985;79:83-8.   Back to cited text no. 11
12.Korubo- Owiye T, Igbigbi PS. Distribution of ABO and Rhesus Genes among socio- economic classes in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Nig J Physiol Sci 1994;10:22-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Ojo GO, Ajose- Clokes OO, Balogun OO. Frequency distribution of ABO and Rhesus blood groups in the Urban population of Lagos. Conference Proceedings in Nig J Physio Sci 1987;3:79-83.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Odeigah PG. Influence of blood group and secretor Genes on susceptibility to duodenal ulcer. East Africa Med J 1990;67:487-500.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Ameand JO, Young O. A preliminary survey of the distribution of ABO and Rhesus blood groups in Trinidad. Med Geogr Trop 1955;7:375-8.  Back to cited text no. 15


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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