Bombay Blood

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 29, 2022, 7:20

Bombay Blood is the rarest blood group found in humankind. It is also known as hh blood or Oh blood. Bombay Blood or hh was first discovered in Bombay in the year 1952 by Dr Y.M Bhende and hence the name. People with this rare blood group are mostly confined to South Asia, with 1 in every 10,000 Indians having the blood group. In Taiwan, the blood group can be found in 1 in every 8000 people, and in Europe, it is 1 per million. People with Bombay Blood type can accept blood only from the same group and not from other blood group types.

Important Facts of Bombay Blood

  • To understand this, it is important to understand the other common blood groups. The most common blood groups are A, B, AB, and O. These groups are easy to identify because each red cell has an antigen on the surface that is important to determine the blood group. In the case of Bombay Blood, the red blood cells lack antigen H. And so it is difficult to determine the blood group.
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  • Fucosyltransferase is the enzyme that helps in the production of H antigen. H locus and Se locus are the two types of fucosyltransferases in the human genome. When both the copies of the FUT1 gene are inactive, there arises the case of Bombay Blood. This leads to the production of anti-H bodies in plasma.
  • Se locus contains the FUT2 gene in the secretory glands. At least one copy of the functional gene is required to produce H antigen in saliva. But Bombay Blood group is produced when both the copies of FUT2 genes are inactive. This leads to anti-H bodies in saliva.
  • There is no A antigen, B antigen, or H antigen in this blood group.

Bombay Blood Overview

Thus, it is clear from the above discussion that Bombay Blood is the rarest type of blood group found mainly in Indians and Taiwanese. It is identified by H antigen deficiency. Given the rarity of the blood group, it is recommended that individuals with this blood group should also test the blood group of other family members to identify whether they have a similar rare blood group. They should also get themselves urgently registered with leading blood banks to be able to handle emergency blood requirements in a time of need. This calls for an increasing number of voluntary blood donors and the adoption of proper blood group practices.

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FAQs on Bombay Blood

Q.1. What is the cause behind Bombay Blood?

Close-community marriages and an increasing number of same lineage inbreeding have caused gene restrictions and given rise to this issue. Thus, it is likely that the blood group type has similar ancestral origins.

Q.2. Is the Bombay Blood group and the O blood group the same?

Although the Bombay Blood group is often mistaken for the O blood group, the two are different. The main difference between these two blood groups is that there is no H antigen in the red blood cells in the case of Bombay Blood whereas, for the O blood group, there is a high presence of H antigens in all blood phenotypes.

Q.3. Can Bombay Blood group individuals receive blood from other common groups?

Individuals with this rare blood group type can receive autologous blood or blood only from the same blood group type. Otherwise, they can suffer from acute hemolytic transfusion reactions.

Q.4. How and where is Bombay Blood testing done?

An Antigen H blood test identifies the blood group. You can get a Bombay Blood group test done in any well-reputed and trustworthy lab or blood bank on request.