We all learned in school that A, B, AB and O are the four blood groups and they have negative versions. We have also learned that people with O blood group are universal donors and people with AB are universal recipients. Of the eight blood groups we know of, AB negative is considered one of the rarest blood groups. However, there are other extremely rare blood groups that people are hardly aware of. One such blood group was recently found in the blood sample of Aman Jain, a 30-year-old blood donor from Jabalpur in the blood bank of Shelby Hospital, Ahmedabad.

Aman Jain donated his blood 10 times as Group O but in the blood bank of Shelby Hospital Dr. Yasha N. Parikh, Consultant Transfusion Medicine Specialist and Blood Bank Officer reported some inconsistent results in blood grouping with unusual symptoms in his blood sample. The initial investigation conducted at Shelby and Dr. After discussion with Prabhat Sharma, Group Head, Pathology, Shelby Hospital, his blood sample was referred to Lok Samarpan Blood Bank, Surat for further investigation, where Dr. Viparita R. Joshi examined the sample in detail and concluded that the donor’s blood group was not O, as previously reported, but the AEL blood group, which is a very rare blood group.

There are few known weak type A and B antigens in the medical literature, of which the AL type A antigen is very rare. As far as we are aware, this is the first case of its kind in Gujarat, probably the first case reported from all over India. Experts estimate that only 40 to 50 people worldwide have this blood group, mainly in Southeast Asia. There are few reports on such cases and efforts are being made to understand them in a systematic manner.

Congratulating the team on their discovery, Shelby Hospitals Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Vikram Shah said, “At Shelby we have always been committed to a thorough investigation using world-class equipment, and this discovery has been made possible following proper protocol and vigilance by our team. In our laboratory we plan to provide molecular testing and analysis, cytopathology, transfusion and molecular diagnostics services.”