The key difference between Bombay blood group and O blood group is that the Bombay blood group does not have H antigens on the red blood cells but contains H antibodies while the O blood group has H antigens but does not contain H antibodies.
There are four main blood groups; namely, A, B, AB and O. Other than these four; there are rare blood groups present among the people. Bombay blood group is one of the rarest types of blood group present only in 4 people per million of people in the world. It differs from the above mentioned four blood groups due to the absence of H antigens. This is due to the absence of the H gene in the genome. When comparing Bombay blood group and O blood group, both blood groups do not contain A antigens and B antigens. But O blood group contains H gene; hence, contains H antigens.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Bombay Blood Group
3. What is O Blood Group
4. Similarities Between Bombay Blood Group and O Blood Group
5. Side by Side Comparison – Bombay Blood Group vs O Blood Group in Tabular Form
What is Bombay Blood Group?
Bombay blood group (HH blood group) is one of the rarest blood groups present only in 4/million people in the world. It is a new blood group discovered in Bombay in the year 1952. Hence, the name of this blood group is “Bombay blood group”. Unlike other blood groups, this blood group does not have H antigen. Hence, there are no A and B antigens and also H antigens present in the red blood cells of the people who have this blood group.
Figure 01: Bombay Blood Group
However, this blood group has H antibodies that are not present in other blood groups. Since the Bombay blood group does not contain A and B antigens, it might be mistakenly considered as O blood group. Therefore, it is necessary to follow proper blood grouping and testing practices prior to blood transfusion. Especially, H antigen should be tested in order to differentiate O blood group from Bombay blood group. Otherwise, patients can develop hemolytic transfusion reactions during the transfusion.
Furthermore, the people who have Bombay blood group can receive blood only from the same Bombay phenotype. If blood transfusion of Bombay blood group happens with any other blood group, it can lead to fetal hemolytic transfusion reactions. Hence, it is extremely important to make sure that the results obtained for the O blood group are not for the Bombay blood group.
What is O Blood Group?
O blood group is one of the four blood groups. These people neither have A antigens nor B antigens on their red blood cells. But, they have H antigens since they possess H gene. Furthermore, they have A and B antibodies. There are two types of O blood group such as O positive and O negative.
Figure 02: ABO Blood Types
O positive is a common blood group while O negative is the universal donor group. An o negative person can donate blood to anybody but can receive blood only from the same phenotype; O negative. O positive group can donate blood to everyone other than O negative and can receive blood from O positive or O negative. Unless doing a specific test for H antigen, usually, O blood group mixes with Bombay blood group since both types do not contain A and B antigens on the red blood cells.
What are the Similarities Between Bombay Blood Group and O Blood Group?
- Bombay Blood Group and O Blood Group are two types of blood groups.
- Neither A antigens nor B antigens are present in both blood groups.
- Also, both can receive blood only from the people who have the same blood group.
- Furthermore, usual tests for ABO blood group system would show both blood groups as group O, which is incorrect.
- Moreover, A and B antibodies are present in both blood groups.
- Thus, specific antigen test for H antigen is required to differentiate both Bombay blood group and O blood group.
What is the Difference Between Bombay Blood Group and O Blood Group?
Bombay blood group is one of the rarest blood groups while O blood group is a common blood group. Both these blood groups have neither A antigens nor B antigens. Hence, the results of the usual blood tests are the same for both blood groups. But there is a difference between Bombay blood group and O blood group. Bombay blood group does not have H antigens or H gene while O blood group has H antigens and H gene. Furthermore, Bombay blood group has H antibodies while O blood group does not have. This is another difference between Bombay blood group and O blood group.
The below infographic shows the difference between Bombay blood group and O blood group in tabular form.
Summary – Bombay Blood Group vs O Blood Group
Bombay blood group and O blood group are two blood groups. Both these blood groups do not have A or B antigens. Hence, usual blood tests misdiagnose similar results for both blood types. So Bombay blood group often confused with O blood group. But there is a major difference between Bombay blood group and O blood group. That is the presence or the absence of H antigen. O blood group contains H antigen while Bombay blood group does not contain it. Hence, by doing a specific test for H antigen, these two blood groups can be easily identified from each other. This is really important in blood transfusion to prevent hemolytic transfusion reactions.
1.“Rarest Blood Group – All About Bombay Blood Group.” PharmEasy Blog, 5 Oct. 2017. Available here
2.“Hh Blood Group.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Oct. 2018. Available here
1.”Bombay”By No machine-readable author provided. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”ABO blood type”By InvictaHOG – Own work, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
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