Researchers Have Figured Out How To Convert All Blood Types Into The Universal Type O

June 13, 2019

Scientists have found a way to convert all blood types to the universal type that is safe for all patients to receive.

scientists convert all blood types into universal o

Researchers from the University of British Columbia have figured out how to convert blood types A, B and AB into the universal Type O, which all patients can receive in a transfusion regardless of their own blood type.

Enzymes can be used to convert A and B type red blood cells into O type, however, the enzymes available to date have not worked well on whole blood.

That was until scientists considered looking inside the human gut.

"The human gut is covered with mucins, large glycoproteins presenting a variety of glycan structures on their surface, including those of the blood group antigens," said Peter Rahfeld, a researcher at the University of British Columbia.

Using a technique called functional metagenomics, scientists were able to screen a library of gut microbiome enzymes using fluorogenic substrates and isolate the set of enzymes that strip sugars from blood cells very efficiently.

By removing the sugar antigens from A, B and AB blood cells, the red blood cells can be converted into Type O.

The scientists made the exciting discovery last August, but have just published the results of their research in the journal Nature Microbiology.

"In the future we hope these enzymes will be widely deployed for the production of enzymatically converted universal donor blood (ECO O Type Red Blood Cells) directly after blood donation," Rahfeld said.

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