COVID-19: ICMR develops “Purified Antisera” as treatment

Published: October 2, 2020

The Indian Council of Medical Research along with Hyderabad based Biological E has developed “Purified Antisera”. The antiserum has been obtained from animals. This is to be used as a prophylaxis and treatment for COVID-19.

Highlights

The new therapy works just like that of plasma therapy. But here the plasma is obtained from animals. Antiserum is blood-based serum that holds antibodies against viruses.

In this new therapy, the serum is raised from horses that have recovered from viral infection and found to hold antibodies against the virus in their system. The antibodies from horses are called “Equine Antisera” and are common.

Background

The antibodies obtained from animals have earlier been used to control several viral infections such as Hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, diphtheria and botulism.

In June 2020, the ICMR had invited drug makers to produce Equine antiserum against COVID-19. The Equine Antiserum was segregated by ICMR led National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Antiserum

It is a human or inhuman blood serum that spreads passive immunity through blood donation. Passive Immunity is transferring active human immunity of ready-made anti bodies. It naturally occurs when the antibodies of a mother is transferred to the baby through placenta.

Passive Immunization is provided when persons cannot generate their own antibodies.

Antibodies

The antibodies are also known as Immunoglobulins. They are large, Y-shaped blood proteins that are produced by plasma cells. They bind to foreign particles in blood and kill them.

Antigens are foreign bodies, the pathogens that invade the body. Thus, antigens stimulate the production of antibodies in the human body.

Serological Survey

India is currently using serological tests to survey the spread of COVID-19 virus. These tests helps to identify whether a person has been exposed to the virus. If so, the person would have carried the COVID-19 antigen and his body would have begun to produce antibodies against COVID-19 antigens. Thus, by identifying the antibodies one can conclude a COVID-19 test.

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