Bolivia bets on donkey plasma to treat Covid-19

La Paz, May 19 (EFE).- Efforts are underway in Bolivia to produce a hyperimmune serum to treat moderate and severe Covid-19 cases with antibodies from donkeys.

Gil Fernandez, a director at the Bolivian National Institute of Health Laboratories (INLASA), tells Efe the serum is being developed using plasma from three donkeys.

The serum is estimated to be “at least 50 times more potent than human plasma” in combating Covid-19, according to Fernandez.

Inlasa, the first lab in the world to extract plasma from donkeys, named the animals AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sputnik after the vaccines used in the vaccination campaign in Bolivia.

Scientists decided to use donkey antibodies since the animals are accustomed to living at high altitudes such as those in La Paz, where the laboratory is located, he added.

Bolivia uses plasma donations from recovered patients to fight off the disease, with regulations promoting such donations.

Since the start of the pandemic, Bolivia has recorded 337,441 infections and 13,635 deaths.


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