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QUESTION: I'm an A+ (non-secretor), my wife is a B+ (secretor) and our daughter is a B- (secretor status unknown). Just curious about: (1) how our daughter's RH factor could come out different? (2) does the above imply that none of us (in particular my wife and daughter) are able to give blood to each other in an emergency? (3) does secretor status play a significant role in blood tranfusions?
1. Rhesus type is determined much like ABO, with the phenotype (physical characteristic) determined by genotype (genetic combination). Genotype is usually in the form of alleles ('variations', if you will). The gene locus for Rh blood type has two alleles; one from each parent. In this blood typing system the Rh+ allele is dominant to the Rh- allele. Thus any combination of two alleles other than Rh-/Rh- will make a person Rh+. My suspicion is that both you and you wife are Rh+/Rh- (so-called 'heterozygous') Your child no doubt received a Rh- allele from you, and an Rh- allele from you wife; there is a 25% chance of this occurring.
2. Rh- blood can be transfused into Rh+ individuals. Thus, your B+ wife can receive blood from your B- daughter.
3. Since secretor status does not code for any opposing antibodies (non-secretors do not make 'anti-secretor antiobodies') it does not influence transfusion.