Bolivia developing hyperimmune serum using donkey plasma

Bolivia hyperimmune serum donkey plasma
La Paz: Healthcare workers search in selected neighborhoods for possible Covid-19 infections. Photo: Radoslaw Czajkowski/Shutterstock

National Institute of Health Laboratories in Bolivia (Inlasa) is placing its faith in an unusual ingredient to create a hyperimmune serum it believes to be capable of neutralizing the coronavirus: using donkey plasma. According to Inlasa director Gil Fernández, the substance is “at least 50 times more effective” than human plasma, which has been collected by way of volunteer campaigns. 

The pioneering study is using plasma from three donkeys, which were named after the trio of vaccine labs which have sent immunizers to Bolivia so far: Astrazeneca, Sinopharm, and Sputnik V. 

Developing alternative sources to curb the coronavirus is crucial, as Bolivia is setting new weekly records for Covid-19 cases. Only 2.5 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated so far.