Science Has Discovered A Bug That Turns Blood Into Type-O

By Urenna Ukiwe |   24 August 2018   |   10:01 am  

Type O blood is a universal donor and hence much needed in cases of emergency blood transfusion. According to BBC, scientists believe they have found a reliable way to transform donor blood into the universal type needed for safe, emergency blood transfusions.

They have discovered enzymes from gut bacteria that can efficiently turn type Type-A human blood into type-O.

Type-O blood is special because it can be donated to anyone without the risk of complications and adverse reactions unless in very rare cases.

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The researchers, from the University of British Columbia, say clinical trials of the treatment could begin soon.

The gut bug enzymes take away features from the surface of type A blood but not in type O.

The World Health Organization has recommended a minimum of 1% of a country’s population to participate in blood donations. However, In Nigeria, we are not able to even meet this minimum requirement.

Robbing them of this fingerprints means that the recipient’s immune system will think it is receiving type O blood and not type A and will not have adverse reactions.

Giving someone blood from the wrong group can be life-threatening.

Patients with type-O blood can only receive type-O while other blood types can receive from type-O because it is compatible with other blood types in transfusion.
The four main blood groups are types A, B, AB and O. And blood types are dependent on genetics.

Blood type-O is very important and should be readily available in hospitals and health centres. During emergencies, there might be limited time to carry out a full check to determine a good match.

But researcher Stephen Withers, who is presenting his findings at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in Boston, said the gut enzymes represented the most promising treatment so far.

In laboratory tests, the enzymes were able to completely convert blood type A to O.

“Obviously, the next stages are all about safety, making sure this doesn’t cause any inadvertent effects,” Mr Withers said.

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