Is “Purified Antisera” a potential treatment for COVID-19?

The Indian Council of Medical Research in collaboration with the Hyderabad based biopharmaceutical company Biological E ltd has developed “Purified Antisera”. It has been prepared by injecting inactivated SARS-CoV2 in horses which can be used as a prophylaxis and could be a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Key Facts

  • The new therapy is similar to the existing plasma therapy. But the only difference is in the new therapy plasma is obtained from animals.
  • In this new therapy, antisera serum which is a blood-based serum has been prepared by injecting inactivated SARS-CoV2 in horses.
  • It was found that the serum recovered from the viral infection and it has antibodies called Equine Antisera which can be used against the corona virus.
  • The Equine Antiserum was segregated by ICMR led National Institute of Virology, Pune which was invited by ICMR in June 2020.

Background

Such antibodies have also been obtained earlier from animals and have been used to cure several viral infections including the Hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, diphtheria and botulism.

Antiserum

It is a blood serum that builds “passive immunity”  through blood donation as it is done in case of Plasma Therapy. These are blood serum which are high in antibodies against specific antigens and can be  injected in humans to help boost the immune system to fight against specific infections.

Passive Immunity

It is immunity that is induced with the help of ready-made antibodies in the humans. It also occurs naturally, when the antibodies from mother is transferred to the baby through placenta. It is induced in persons when they cannot generate their own antibodies.