Home Blood problems When and how was the discovery of blood groups

When and how was the discovery of blood groups

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

In 1901, Karl Landsteiner, professor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Vienna, was conducting an experiment that would change the course of medicine forever. He noticed that sometimes when Blood from different people was mixed in the laboratory, the red blood cells clumped together. This made him so curious that he analyzed the Blood of 22 people by washing the red blood cells and immersing them in saline.

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Mix the Blood

He found that clumps sometimes formed when mixing Blood because people’s red blood cells possess antigens. An antigen is an indicator present in any molecule foreign to the body: viruses, bacteria, toxins … If the body recognizes an antigen as foreign, it will defend itself by creating antibodies (which are proteins) specific for that antigen. Antibodies agglutinate the molecules that have the antigen considered hostile to eliminate them better.

Landsteiner discovered that each person’s red blood cells possess a specific type of antigen. Landsteiner discovered three types of antigens on red blood cells, which allowed him to classify human Blood into three groups: O, A, and B. Later, Landsteiner’s students discovered a fourth group: the AB. Since the Blood of the same group has the same antigen, a recipient will not reject a donor’s Blood in their group. It also won’t leave group O blood, even if yours is from another group, because the chemical structure of the group O antigen is more straightforward and compatible with the other antigens’ systems. The blood O antigen is not seen as a threat to the body.


In short, Dr. Landsteiner discovered why some people died after a blood transfusion and others did not: their blood was not compatible … This discovery earned him the Nobel Prize.

Later, naturopaths, James and Peter D’Adamo made another discovery. “But that is another story and must be told another time.”

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

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