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Anti-A and Anti-B, the common IgM antibodies to the RBC surface antigens of the ABO

blood group system, are sometimes described as being "naturally occurring"; however,
this is a misnomer, because these antibodies are formed in infancy by sensitization in the
same way as other antibodies. The theory that explains how these antibodies are
developed states that antigens similar to the A and B antigens occur in nature, including
in food, plants, and bacteria. After birth an infant's gut becomes colonized with normal
flora that express these A-like and B-like antigens, causing the immune system to make
antibodies to those antigens that the red blood cells do not possess. People who are blood
type A will have Anti-B antibodies, blood type B will have Anti-A antibodies, blood type
O will have both Anti-A and Anti-B antibodies, and blood type AB will have neither.
Because of these so called "naturally occurring" and expected antibodies, it is important
to correctly determine a patient's blood type prior to transfusion of any blood component.
These "naturally occurring" antibodies are of the IgM class, which have the capability of
agglutinating (clumping) and damaging red blood cells within the blood vessels, possibly
leading to death. It is not necessary to determine any other blood groups because almost
all other red blood cell antibodies can develop only through active immunization, which
can occur only through either previous blood transfusion or pregnancy. A test called the
Antibody Screen is always performed on patients who may require red blood cell
transfusion, and this test will detect most clinically significant red blood cell antibodies.

The D antigen of the Rh blood group system is also important in determining a person's
blood type. The terms "positive" or "negative" refer to either the presence or absence of
the D antigen irrespective of the presence or absence of the other antigens of the Rh
system. Anti-D is not a naturally occurring antibody as the Anti-A and Anti-B antibodies
are. Cross-matching for the D antigen is extremely important, because the D antigen is
immunogenic, meaning that a person who is D negative is very likely to make Anti-D
when exposed to the D antigen (perhaps through either transfusion or pregnancy). Once
an individual is sensitized to D antigens, his or her blood will contain D IgG antibodies,
which can bind to D positive RBCs and may cross the placenta.[5]

A total of 30 human blood group systems are now recognized by the International Society
of Blood Transfusion (ISBT).[2] A complete blood type would describe a full set of 30
substances on the surface of RBCs, and an individual's blood type is one of the many
possible combinations of blood-group antigens. Across the 30 blood groups, over 600
different blood-group antigens have been found,[6] but many of these are very rare or are
mainly found in certain ethnic groups.

Almost always, an individual has the same blood group for life, but very rarely an
individual's blood type changes through addition or suppression of an antigen in
infection, malignancy, or autoimmune disease.[7][8][9][10] An example of this rare
phenomenon is the case of Demi-Lee Brennan, an Australian citizen, whose blood group
changed after a liver transplant.[11][12] Another more common cause in blood-type change
is a bone marrow transplant. Bone-marrow transplants are performed for many leukemias
and lymphomas, among other diseases. If a person receives bone marrow from someone
who is a different ABO type (eg, a type A patient receives a type O bone marrow), the
patient's blood type will eventually convert to the donor's type.

Some blood types are associated with inheritance of other diseases; for example, the Kell
antigen is sometimes associated with McLeod syndrome.[13] Certain blood types may
affect susceptibility to infections, an example being the resistance to specific malaria
species seen in individuals lacking the Duffy antigen.[14] The Duffy antigen, presumably
as a result of natural selection, is less common in ethnic groups from areas with a high
incidence of malaria.[15]

Main article: ABO blood group system

The ABO system is the most important blood-group system in human-blood transfusion.
The associated anti-A antibodies and anti-B antibodies are usually "Immunoglobulin M",
abbreviated IgM, antibodies. ABO IgM antibodies are produced in the first years of life
by sensitization to environmental substances such as food, bacteria, and viruses. The "O"
in ABO is often called "0" (zero/null) in other languages.[16]

Phenotype Genotype

A AA or AO

B BB or BO


The common Cold

The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection (VURI), acute viral
nasopharyngitis, acute viral rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza, or a cold) is a
contagious, viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system, primarily caused by
rhinoviruses, (picornaviruses) or coronaviruses. It is the most common infectious disease
in humans;[1] there is no known cure, but it is very rarely fatal.

Collectively, colds, influenza, and other infections with similar symptoms are included in
the diagnosis of influenza-like illness. Often, influenza and the common cold are
mistaken for each other, even by professional healthcare workers, but most of the
recommended home treatments (drinking plenty of warm fluids, keeping warm, etc.) are
similar if not the same. The symptoms of influenza often include a fever and are more
severe than the cold

Common symptoms are cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing;
sometimes accompanied by 'pink eye', muscle aches, fatigue, malaise, headaches, muscle
weakness, uncontrollable shivering, loss of appetite, and rarely extreme exhaustion. Fever
is more commonly a symptom of influenza, another viral upper respiratory tract infection
(URTI) whose symptoms broadly overlap with the cold[2] but are more severe.[3]
Symptoms may be more severe in infants and young children (due to their immune
system not being fully developed) as well as the elderly (due to their immune system
often being weakened).

Those suffering from colds often report a sensation of chilliness even though the cold is
not generally accompanied by fever, and although chills are generally associated with
fever, the sensation may not always be caused by actual fever.[2] In one study, 60% of
those suffering from a sore throat and upper respiratory tract infection reported
headaches[2], often due to nasal congestion. The symptoms of a cold usually resolve after
about one week; however, it is not rare that symptoms last up to three weeks.[

[edit] Viruses

The common cold is most often caused by infection with one of the 99 known serotypes
of rhinovirus, a type of picornavirus.[6][7] Around 30-50% of colds are caused by
rhinoviruses.[2] Other viruses causing colds are coronavirus (causing 10-15%[2]), human
parainfluenza viruses, human respiratory syncytial virus, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, or
metapneumovirus.[8] 5-15% are caused by influenza viruses.[2] In total over 200
serologically different viral types cause colds.[2] Coronaviruses are particularly implicated
in adult colds. Of over 30 coronaviruses, 3 or 4 cause infections in humans, but they are
difficult to grow in the laboratory and their significance is thus less well-understood.[8]
Due to the many different types of viruses and their tendency for continuous mutation, it
is impossible to gain complete immunity to the common cold.

[edit] Sleep

Lack of sleep has been associated with the common cold. Those who sleep fewer than 7
hours per night were three times more likely to develop an infection when exposed to a
rhinovirus when compared to those who sleep more than 8 hours per night.[9]

[edit] Vitamin D

People with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent
colds or cases of the flu. The risks were even higher for those with chronic respiratory
disorders, such as asthma and emphysema.[10] However, this statistical correlation does
not prove that low levels cause increased susceptibility to viral infections and the authors
stress that the study's results need to be confirmed in clinical trials before vitamin D can
be recommended to prevent colds and flu.[11]

[edit] Cold weather

An ancient belief still common today claims that a cold can be "caught" by prolonged
exposure to cold weather such as rain or winter conditions, which is where the disease got
its name.[12] Although common colds are seasonal, with more occurring during winter,
experiments so far have failed to produce evidence that short-term exposure to cold
weather or direct chilling increases susceptibility to infection, implying that the seasonal
variation is instead due to a change in behaviors such as increased time spent indoors at
close proximity to others.[

The best way to avoid a cold is thorough and regular washing of the hands.[26] This
resulted in a 16% decrease in the rate of respiratory infections[27] and as much as a 20%
decrease in the common cold.[28] Anti-bacterial and non anti-bacterial soaps are equally
effective.[26] Alcohol-based hand sanitizers also reduce viruses significantly[29] and are
recommended as a method in health care environments.[30] The use of alcohol based hand
gels in the home reduced rate of transmission of respiratory illnesses among family

Probiotics in children 3 – 5 years old were found effective in decreases cold symptoms
when taken over 6 months.[32]

Developing a vaccine for the common cold has been unsuccessful. This is due to a
number of reasons including: a large variety of viruses and the fact that they mutate
rapidly. Many thus believe that successful immunization is highly improbable.[33]

[edit] Management
Poster encouraging citizens to "Consult your Physician" for treatment of the common

There are no medications or herbal remedies proven to shorten the duration of illness.
[citation needed]
Treatment is symptomatic support usually via analgesics for fever, headache
and myalgia, nasal decongestants, and lozenges for sore throat.

The common cold usually resolves spontaneously in 7 to 10 days, but some symptoms
can last for up to three weeks.[4] A history of smoking extends the duration of illness
about three days.[34]