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Thread: ABO blood group and disease resistance

  1. #1
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    Post ABO blood group and disease resistance



    Blood types do not exist just to create conversation between people ("What's your blood type ? Really ? Me too !") or for the Japanese to try to predict your personality. They actually have a vital immunological function. They help us fight diseases.

    Their distribution can tell us what major disease epidemics a given population suffered in its recent history (e.g. in the last thousand years). For example, most native Americans belong to group O. It is believed that this is due to a syphilis epidemics and that the O type were better are fighting off the disease.

    There is no ideal blood type though. Each type has its pros and cons.

    Group A and B make people more resistant to cholera, while AB confers the most resistance. O offers virtually no immunity against cholera.

    B confers weaker protection against plague. This is probably why B is more common in North-East Europe, which was virtually unaffected by the Black Death during the Middle Ages.

    A-type carriers are the most likely to survive plague, but suffer from a higher rate of heart disease, because their blood is more likely to clot. They are also at increased risk of contracting smallpox and developing cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, and stomach.

    Type O, contrarily to A, is slightly protective against cardiovascular problems. It also boosts resistance against tuberculosis (TB), but increases the risk of venous thromboembolism and developing duodenal and peptic ulcers. It also attracts more mosquitoes (through which malaria is transmitted).

    A recent study revealed that people with type O blood are less likely to get pancreatic cancer, but also stomach, breast, ovarian and cervical cancer.

    Humans are not the only ones to have an ABO system. Apes have the same antigens on their red blood cells. Gorillas are almost always B, exceptionally O, but never A or AB. Chimpanzees most usually belong to A, occasionally to O, but never to B or AB. Orang-utans seem to lack the O type altogether.

    Other antigen systems

    The ABO blood group system isn't the only antigen system found in humans. There are about 30 human blood type systems: Rhesus, Kell, Diego, Duffy, Kidd, and so on. Each have a role in immunity. Some are found only in some specific populations and completely absent elsewhere. This is the case of Diego antigens, found only (at low frequency) among Mongolic people and Amerindians.

    Having a lot of antigens isn't always better for your health. Just as A antigens can make your blood clot, being positive for Lewis antigens makes people at extremely high risk for stomach ulcers.

    Likewise, the absence of Duffy antigen is protective against malaria. Once again, humans have been shown to be close to other primates, as baboons have evolved the same Duffy antigen immunity as the one found in humans.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 08-08-09 at 12:16.

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    Thank you very much for such usefull information

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    Thanks again for the great information!

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    Thank you very much for such usefull information. I´m AB+

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    According to a new study, blood type O are twice as likely as type A or AB women to have a reduced egg count. Blood group O may therefore have a negative incidence on female fertility.

    Most of the women in my family are A, while most of the men are O. I wonder if Nature (i.e. genetics) makes it more likely for women to inherit from a blood type increasing female fertility. It would make sense from an evolutionary point of view. Men would benefit more from being O, as it reduces the risk of cardio-vascular problems, more common in males than females. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find blood type statistics by gender to confirm whether there was a difference incidence of each group between men and women.

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    Negative is fine, positive can cause issues with a second child.

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    La Brok,
    help me understand what you mean by "positive can cause issues with a second child".

    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Negative is fine, positive can cause issues with a second child.
    I think you meant the opposite. Most people are Rh+, but if either the mother or baby happen to be Rh- there is a risk of alloimmune reaction from the mother's body, which can cause hemolytic disease of the newborn.

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    Lol, I should avoid short thoughts without context. I'm not sure what I meant by myself after few days. :) Possibly I meant a child.

    Baby Rh+, Mother Rh+, = no problem
    Baby Rh-, Mother Rh- = no problem
    Baby Rh-, Mother Rh+ = no problem
    Baby Rh+, Mother Rh- = problem

    If Baby is Rh+ it means that baby is producing Rh protein, and it flows in the blood. If Mother is Rh- it means she doesn't have Rh protein in her blood. In this case, after a while (by a second child) mother starts producing antibodies to fight kid's Rh protein. Mother immunological system considers Rh protein as a foreign body and destroys them. When this happens the child can dye.

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    All sources say that the risk for Rh incompatibility between Rh- mom and Rh+ fetus occurs in second pregnancies. The sources indicate that the mother builds up the antibodies after delivery of the first incompatible child and generally only affects subsequent pregnancies. I just have to wonder though: why is that and could there be more subtle effects for the first child? Could a hostile womb environment be affecting gene expression for the first fetus?

    My husband and I are both Rh+, but both of our mom's are Rh-. Neither of us have any brother's or sisters (I guess a testament why Rh- is only 15% where it's common!). Our son is autistic and ASD/ADHD/mood disorders do run in our families. Recent studies are indicating that epigenetic changes which affect gene expression via methylation may play a significant role in neuropsychiatric disorders. Does anyone think that Rh incompatibility could be playing a role in methylation, even for the first child? Also, could the apparent rise in some neuropsychiatric disorders be partly caused by medical interventions that increase survivability, and fertility, for Rh incompatible birth outcomes? In a sense, creating more Rh- carriers?


    Thanks.

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    These are big dilemmas Nasturtium. I don't thing anyone can give you a definitive answers to your questions. You need a serious scientific research with statistics to prove or disprove the mentioned correlations.
    Good luck in your quest.

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    Thanks for sharing.

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