A team of Indian doctors, led by Shamee Shastry of Kasturba Medical College, identified in a patient a rare blood group called the "pp" or "P null" phenotype, it was announced today in this capital.
A blood type is considered rare if at least one in a thousand people have it, according to Zeenews website.
The Blood Bank at Kasturba Hospital received samples from a patient who required urgent blood transfusion.
The doctors could not find a compatible blood unit, even after cross-matching with more than 80 units.
After an extensive immunohaematology workup, the samples were sent to the International Blood group Reference Laboratory in Bristol, UK for serological testing.
With the help of that reference laboratory, it was confirmed that the patient's cells had the rare 'pp' phenotype.
ABO and Rh D are the commonly typed blood group systems. However, there are more than 200 minor blood group antigens known in addition to A, B and Rh, says a press release issued by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
Dr. Poornima Baliga, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Faculty of Health Sciences, said it was the first time that P blood group null phenotype was detected in India, and supported the bank's initiative to create an exceptional donor registry for the region.