The Higher Frequency of Blood Group B in a Brazilian Population with HIV Infection

Tor Gunnar Hugo Onsten1, Sidia Maria Callegari-Jacques 2, Luciano Zubaran Goldani*, 1
1 Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
2 Department of Statistics and Graduate Program in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

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© Onsten et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Departamento de Medicina Interna, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcelos 2350, 4º andar, 90035-003, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil; Tel: +55 51 3359 81522; E-mail:



To analyze the frequency of and odds for and against HIV infection based on ABO blood type in a large sample of blood donors.


Coevolution between pathogens and hosts may explain the ABO system of polymorphisms. HIV-infected cells add ABO(H) blood group antigens to the viral envelope. Naturally occurring antibodies against ABO(H) antigens that are present in normal human sera are able to neutralize ABO-expressing HIV in vitro. Blood donors are ideal for studying blood groups and HIV infection in vivo because all donors are routinely typed and tested.


All blood donors who donated blood between 1994 and 2010 were tested for HIV (ELISA antibody tests and Western blot test or immunofluorescence testing) and were ABO typed (direct and reverse grouping tests). HIV infection based on the ABO blood group was analyzed using the chi-square test and game theory.


The total number of examined blood donors during this period was 271,410, of whom 389 were infected with HIV. B-group donors were more infected than non-B donors (p= 0.006).


A more restricted antigen recognition capacity of anti-Galα1-3Gal in blood groups AB and B and a weaker antigen-binding capacity of anti-A antibodies may contribute to a higher frequency of HIV infection in blood group B.

Keywords: : HIV, ABO blood group, Galα1, 3-Gal, antibodies, polymorphism..