Indian Journal of Human Genetics
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 109-113

Identification of a rare blood group, "Bombay (Oh) phenotype," in Bhuyan tribe of Northwestern Orissa, India


Division of Human Genetics, Regional Medical Research Centre (ICMR), Opposite Kalinga Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India

Correspondence Address:
R S Balgir
Division of Human Genetics, Regional Medical Research Centre (ICMR), Opposite Kalinga Hospital, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar - 751 023, Orissa
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-6866.38985

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Background: Blood group serology plays a vital role in transfusion medicine. The Bombay (Oh) phenotype is characterized by the absence of A, B, and H antigens on red cells and occurs rarely, especially in tribal populations of India. Aims and Objectives: This is a field-based random population study in the Bhuyan tribal community. The study reports three cases of the rare Bombay (Oh) phenotype for the first time in the Bhuyan tribe of Sundargarh district in North-Western Orissa. Materials and Methods: Taking informed consent, red blood cells of 836 Bhuyan subjects were tested with three antisera, i.e., anti-A, anti-B, and anti-H (lectin) for forward reaction. Agglutinations of plasma with A, B, and O (H) red cells (reverse reaction) were also tested for the presence or absence of antibodies in the serum. Specialized tests like absorption-elution, titration of naturally occurring antibodies at different temperatures, inhibition of anti-H by O saliva secretor, and determination of secretor status were performed. Results: Three cases of a rare blood group, Bombay (Oh) phenotype, (2 out of 244 Khandayat Bhuyan and 1 out of 379 Paudi Bhuyan from Hemgiri and Lahunipara blocks, respectively) in the Bhuyan tribe of Sundargarh district in North-Western Orissa were detected, giving an incidence of 1 in 122 in Khandayat Bhuyan and 1 in 379 in Paudi Bhuyan, with an average of 1 in 278 among the Bhuyan tribal population. This incidence is high in comparison to earlier studies reported from India. Conclusions: The practice of tribal and territorial endogamy in a smaller effective populations (for example, there are only 3,521 individuals in Paudi Bhuyan) results in smaller marital distance and inbreeding, leading to increased homozygous expression of rare recessive genetic characters like the Bombay (Oh) phenotype. This study further testifies that the incidence is higher in those states of India where the consanguinity is a common practice.


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