Convalescent Serum is Passive Immunization in Ebola


There have been several news reports on "blood" from Ebola patients being used for treatment of active disease.   This is a process of passive immunization as opposed to active immunization; active immunization results from vaccination.   Passive immunization involved the transfusion of antibodies again the disease causative agent. In the case of Ebola, it is an RNA virus.  It would also appear that a polyclonal response will be required (Lundblad, R.L., Is the power of a monoclonal less than one?, Bioprocess International 4(9), p. 80 (October 2006).

 
Those interested in passive immunization should read an excellent article by Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City (Bronx).
Casadevall, A., Passive antibody administration (immediate immunity) as a specific defense against biological weapons, Emerging Infectious Diseases 8(8), 833-841, 2002.