Introduction to the ABO Blood Group System (by LabCE)

1 P.A.C.E. contact hour(s)

(based on 1,420 customer ratings)

Catherine E. Newkirk, MS, MT(ASCP), Janet H. Coggins, MT(ASCP), SBB
Reviewers: Aileen Hyde MS, MT(ASCP), Paul Fekete, MD

Course provided by LabCE.

Introduction to ABO Blood Group System is an introductory-level course appropriate for MT and MLT students, pathology residents, or others who need a review of basic biochemistry, genetics, and reactions of the ABO system.

This course can also be used for CLS schools for academic instruction or could be used as a basic orientation for MT and MLT students who are beginning their blood bank rotation during internship.

See more courses in: Blood Banking / Immunohematology

Included In These Course Packages

Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1 hour(s)
Course number 578-058-22, approved through 7/31/2024
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Blood Banking / Immunohematology): 1 hour(s)
Course number 20-927616, approved through 7/31/2024


  • Outline the background and development of the ABO system.
  • List antigens and antibodies of the system, including A subgroups.
  • Discuss the inheritance of the ABO antigens, including explanations of genotypes and phenotypes.
  • Discuss development of serum antibodies with respect to "naturally" occurring antibodies and immune antibodies.
  • Explain the procedure for routine ABO slide and tube typing and interpretation of results.
  • Determine the ABO blood group, given the forward and reverse typing results.

Customer Ratings

(based on 1,420 customer ratings)

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Course Outline

  • Background and Introduction to the ABO System
      • Importance of Understanding the ABO System
      • The History of the ABO System
      • The History of the ABO System, continued
      • Table 1: ABO Blood Group System
      • Table 2: Testing the Patient Red Cells with Known Antisera (Forward Typing)
      • Table 3: Testing the Serum with Known Red Cells (Reverse Typing)
  • Development of Serum Antibodies
      • ABO Antibodies
      • Anti-A and Anti-B Development
      • ABO Antibodies and Aging
      • Immune ABO Antibodies
      • Immunoglobulin
  • Subgroups of A
      • Strength of the A Antigen
      • A1 and A2 Subgroups
      • Rare Subgroups of A
      • Inherited Antigens
      • Why Knowledge of A Subgroups Is Important For Laboratory Professionals
      • Reaction of Red Cell Subgroups With Known Antisera
  • ABO Typing
      • Agglutination Reactions
      • Forward Typing
      • Testing the Red Cells With Known Antisera
      • Reverse Typing
      • Testing Patient Serum With Known Reagent Red Cells (Reverse Grouping)
      • Interpretation of ABO Group
      • Example of an ABO discrepancy
      • Automated Systems
  • Genetic Basis for Cellular Antigens
      • Galactose and ABO Antigen Precursor Substance
      • Fucose
      • "A" Antigenic Activity
      • "B" Antigenic Activity
      • The H gene
      • The Bombay Blood Group
      • A, B, and O Genes
      • A, B, and O Genes - Diagram
      • Bombay Blood Group Genes
      • Inherited Genes
      • Deducing the Gene
      • Genotyping
      • Determining Possible Offspring
      • Punnett Squares
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Intermediate
Intended Audience: Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS), Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) and Medical Laboratory Science students who wish to review basic principles of the ABO blood group system.
About this Course: This course is part of a series of courses adapted for the web by MediaLab Inc. under license from Educational Materials for Health Professionals Inc. Dayton OH, 45420. Copyright EMHP Inc. The course was most recently reviewed and revised in 2018.
Course Description: This course explains the basic genetics and principles of the ABO blood group system, as well as the tube methods for forward and reverse ABO grouping. Learners will benefit most from this course if they already possess a basic understanding of genetic principles, immune response, the production and structure of antibodies, and antigen-antibody reactions.

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Course provided by LabCE.
Gel Card Reaction Grading (2)

Bombay genes

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