What is U negative blood and why is it so rare?

The U antigen is a high incidence antigen, occurring in more than 99.9% of the population. The U was originally short for “Universal”, though this is not the case. U negative RBCs can be found in people of African descent. This mutation in red cell surface structure also makes the RBCs S- and s-. Anti-U has been associated with both hemolytic transfusion reactions and hemolytic disease of the newborn.

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